Coffee: health benefits and harm

The discussion about whether it is useful or harmful to drink coffee every day has been going on for several decades:

  • Some scientists, probably paid for by coffee companies, say that coffee is harmless at least, and in some cases even benefits the body (reduces the risk of stroke , diabetes, cirrhosis , depression, kidney stones , etc.).
  • Others, consisting of content from competitors (producers of tea or juices, for example), speak of the terrible destructiveness of this drink for our health.

The end of this dispute is not visible, since coffee, unlike power engineers, is a natural product, therefore, it can be both beneficial and harmful. You can give an analogy with a tomato. This fruit is delicious and useful, but in patients with gout it can cause an exacerbation of the disease, and if you eat several kilograms of tomatoes at a time, you can and poison yourself. About coffee, health benefits and harm to human health in the presence of any diseases we'll talk about in the article.

Let's start with the definition of concepts

Coffee is a drink prepared by brewing in a Turkish (Jezeol) or coffee machine from fried, and then grinded coffee bean kernels. We will discuss this coffee further. Soluble coffee is a separate topic for conversation, but we also mention it.

Natural coffee is not a food product, as this drink contains very few proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, in coffee, except for all known caffeine, there are up to 30 biologically active substances. Among them: potassium, magnesium , calcium, phosphorus, vitamin PP, vitamin B2, organic acids, theophylline, etc.

On the effect on the nervous system

Caffeine in coffee is a natural psycho-stimulant, increasing brain activity by about 10%. Points for and against:



  • Increases the attention and speed of reaction of drivers, allows you not to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Increases resistance to stress and performance.
  • Increases the content in the brain of serotonin (the "hormone of happiness"), which, with regular use improves mood and can relieve depression (see antidepressants )
  • Eliminates the headache - a scientifically proven fact. The only exception is headaches caused by high blood pressure . In other cases, a cup of coffee is the safest remedy for this misfortune.
  • Causes dependence similar to alcohol or nicotine.
  • The abuse of caffeine leads to nervous exhaustion, followed by irritability, nervousness, lethargy, a sharp decline in efficiency.
  • Large doses of caffeine, especially at night, can cause insomnia (see how quickly to fall asleep ).


This substance contained in coffee, accelerates blood circulation in the organs and has bronchodilator properties (relieves spasm of the bronchi).



  • Due to improved blood circulation in the kidneys, diuresis increases (daily amount of urine). Therefore, coffee positively affects people with edematous syndrome of any origin.
  • Reduces dyspnea in patients with bronchial obstructive syndrome (chronic bronchitis, obstructive bronchitis , asthma).
In completely healthy people, the abuse of coffee can cause dehydration due to the diuretic effect of theophylline.

On the effect on the digestive system

Coffee stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. For healthy people this is not dangerous, but in patients with a stomach ulcer , gastritis or pancreatitis this can lead to trouble.

There is evidence that regular consumption of coffee reduces the risk of liver cirrhosis in alcohol abusers.

Coffee in large quantities contains tannins, substances that give the drink a bitter taste. Tannins have a positive effect on the metabolism of some vitamins, such as "PP" and "C", but may interfere with the absorption of certain trace elements, for example, iron, which should be taken into account for patients with anemia . In addition, these substances have tannic properties. This effect in the medicine of the past has been used in the treatment of stomach ulcers.

Tannins in coffee are neutralized by adding milk to it.

Apparently, the influence of the described drink on the "ulcer" is very contradictory. On the one hand, a cup of coffee in such patients can cause heartburn or abdominal pain, and on the other - to promote the healing of ulcers. However, the view of modern gastroenterology on coffee is rather negative - when peptic ulcer is exacerbated or duodenal ulcer is contraindicated.

About the effect on the cardiovascular system

The effect of the drink we are discussing on health is very clearly reflected in the state of the heart and blood vessels. Moreover, this effect is due not only to caffeine, but to the rest of the complex of substances included in it.

Caffeine increases the heart rate, causing tachycardia (an increase in the number of heart beats per minute above normal). For a young, healthy organism, this is not terrible, but for athletes it's even good, as it leads to an increase in the flow of blood to the tissues, which somewhat improves athletic performance.

But in sick people, tachycardia can cause life-threatening complications:

  • In hypertensive disease - provoke hypertensive crisis .
  • With heart failure - a significant deterioration of the state due to an increase in the need for cardiac muscle in oxygen.
  • With ischemic disease - cause a heart attack right up to a heart attack.
  • An overdose of caffeine can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, which increases the risk of sudden death by 2 to 3 times. (WHO Definition: Sudden cardiac death is an unexpected, unforeseeable death of cardiac etiology that occurred with witnesses for a short period of time, no more than 1-6 hours from the onset of the first signs of the disease, in a person without the presence of conditions that could currently be fatal ).

A few more facts about the benefits of coffee

What can cause us to drink one or more cups of coffee?

  • Regular consumption of even one cup of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death (stroke, heart attack , fatal occlusion of an important vessel) by 24%. Proved by a joint study of scientists from Madrid and Harvard.
  • There is scientific evidence that the regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's , and the risk of Parkinson's disease reduces coffee by 500%.
  • Coffee reduces the activity of microorganisms causing caries. However, in order to reduce the risk of caries it is necessary to drink this drink without sugar.
  • Coffee can help reduce some of the allergy symptoms, as it reduces the formation of histamine in the body (see tablets for allergies ).

A few more facts about the dangers of coffee for health

When, and for what reasons should you avoid drinking coffee.

  • Pregnant coffee should be drunk very carefully. The use of four or more cups a day increases the risk of abortion by 33%. However, 1 to 3 cups a day reduce the probability of fetal death by 3%.
  • In women in menopause, 4 or more cups a day increase the risk of osteoporosis .
  • The abuse of coffee increases the blood levels of total and LDL-cholesterol (" bad cholesterol "), which contributes to the progression of atherosclerosis.

About false accusations and unjustified hopes

Both critics and coffee fans go too far in their enthusiasm and sometimes attribute certain harmful / useful properties to the drink, which are not such.

  • — кофе содержит некоторое количество антиоксидантов, защищающих наш организм от стресса. Antioxidant - coffee contains a certain amount of antioxidants that protect our body from stress. However, to get some significant antioxidant effect, you must drink at least 5 cups a day, so consider it an antioxidant is not worth it.
  • — при обжарке кофейного зерна в нем появляются смолы бензпирена, обладающие канцерогенными свойствами. Carcinogens during roasting - when frying coffee beans, benzpyren resins with carcinogenic properties appear in it. The deeper the roast, the more tar. But the grain, both whole and ground, we do not use inside, and in the resulting drink their concentration is negligible. All benzpyrene remains in the cup or coffee machine, so this harm is very ephemeral, unless, of course, you do not drink coffee together with the coffee grounds (see which products and why a lot of dangerous carcinogen - acrylamide ).

About instant coffee

Natural coffee can not be soluble, so I did not tell you about this advertising. The technology of making instant coffee was discovered at the end of the century. However, the first bank of this product first stepped off the assembly line of Nestle in July 1938.

Why is instant coffee not useful?

  • — растворимый кофе делается не из дорогой арабики, а из дешевой робусты. Firstly - instant coffee is not made from expensive arabica, but from cheap robusta. In addition, coffee dust, overdone and substandard grains, as well as other coffee-related waste are used as raw materials. All this is ground and processed with boiling water under high pressure. The resulting extract is filtered, dried, and then sprayed into special chambers. When sprayed, the droplets of the extract solidify, turning into a powder. This is instant coffee.
  • — большинство полезных веществ разрушается в процессе изготовления. Secondly , most of the useful substances are destroyed during the manufacturing process. Therefore, to provide the necessary taste and aroma of the drink in the instant coffee add chicory , acorns, as well as various dyes, flavors, stabilizers, etc., and the cheaper the product, the more. The usual coffee content in a soluble coffee powder is 15%, what is all the rest?
  • — кофеин, в отличие от других активных веществ, прекрасно переносит все технологические этапы, поэтому его больше в растворимом напитке (80 г на чашку), чем в натуральном (60 мг на чашку). Thirdly , caffeine, unlike other active substances, perfectly tolerates all technological steps, so it is more in a soluble drink (80 grams per cup) than in natural (60 mg per dish).

Why is not soluble decaffeinated coffee useful?

At the beginning of the two thousandth doctors actively began to abuse caffeine. Consequently, people became interested in bezkofeynovymi drinks. Demand spawned the offer, decaffeinated coffee in the market began to appear more and more. Decaffeinated can only be green coffee beans. They are treated with a special solvent, the name of which is ethyl acetate. This substance is also used in the manufacture of stains for insects and artificial leather. Manufacturers say they wash their product carefully from ethyl acetate, but where are the guarantees?


As can be seen from the above, the damage to coffee is caused mainly by the excessive use of this drink. One or two cups of coffee a day will improve the mood and give your body vivacity. But four or more cups a day can have a detrimental effect on your health, especially with prolonged abuse. Coffee is contraindicated in people suffering from high blood pressure , heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, and also in case of peptic ulcer disease.


  1. but what about Coffee Street, which as they say is in grain coffee and it is not in soluble and which contributes to the increase of cholesterol in the blood for the liver from it loses the ability to regulate cholesterol, passing it a lot from the intestine into the blood ...?

    • The coffee shop is in the coffee grounds. If you drink a lot of coffee, then just drink it filtered.

  2. I have a menopause, I had a period of pain in joints, I really love coffee, I cooked cereals and drank constantly, but no more than 2 cups a day, then I started drinking only with milk or cream, and when I read that coffee washes calcium out of bones , limited to a minimum. While surveyed and treated did not drink at all, and really recovered, now I drink rarely, but health is more expensive.

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