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Coffee

Coffee is the favorite drink of most busy people. It is usually associated with a break and relaxation. Like every product, coffee has its advantages and disadvantages. Today, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and many beneficial properties are attributed to it. With some exceptions, coffee is definitely better to drink than to give up.

1. Coffee – action
2. Facts and myths about coffee
3. Some reasons to drink coffee

4. Decaffeinated coffee

5. Summary

1. Coffee – action

Coffee grain contains over 1000 bioactive compounds, of which the most interest is caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and kafestol. All listed compounds have potentially beneficial effects, including antioxidant ones. Coffee is one of the most abundant sources of antioxidants in your daily diet. The effect of a coffee drink on the body depends on many factors – starting with the type of coffee (most often we deal with arabica and robusta), by burning grains, the method of making coffee, and on a specific gene set and composition of a person’s microflora . It turns out that both genes and the composition of microbiota determine the metabolism and the final effect of coffee.

Caffeine, the compound most associated with coffee, undergoes metabolism in the liver. As a result of transformations, three main compounds are formed: theophylline, paraxanthin and theobromine. It is excreted through the kidneys. Interestingly, in people who smoke, the metabolism of caffeine is accelerated due to its effect on cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in the conversion of caffeine in the liver. It freely flows from the bloodstream to the brain. Caffeine is an antagonist of adenosine receptors, i.e. has an inhibitory effect. Thanks to this, it eliminates tiredness and drowsiness.

2. Facts and myths about coffee

Coffee rinses out magnesium and calcium
Myth. It is true that the studies have shown increased urinary calcium and magnesium excretion, but this effect is achieved when consuming more than 744 mg of caffeine per day (approximately 8 glasses of coffee per day). Consumption of caffeine in an amount of approx. 400 mg daily with simultaneous intake of calcium with a diet of at least 800 mg does not cause negative consequences.

Coffee raises blood pressure
Myth. This effect can be observed in people who drink coffee occasionally. Drinking coffee for three days in a row causes the development of tolerance and ceases to have an effect on the blood pressure.

Coffee improves concentration
Fact, as long as it is not decaffeinated. Caffeine, depending on the dose, may improve alertness, speed of reaction, concentration, mood, and even increase self-confidence. The more rested we are, the less the effect is. Coffee can be a salvation after a sleepless night.

There are contraindications to drinking coffee
Fact. Although there are not many – there are. Drinking coffee is not recommended for pregnant women, as well as people with reflux disease or stomach ulcer. The caffeine contained in coffee may exacerbate the symptoms by stimulating the secretion of gastric juice. In addition, it also increases the secretion of gastrin, which in turn causes relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, thus the stomach content is easier to pass from the stomach to the esophagus.

Caffeine is addictive
It is not known. In DMS-5 (Diagnosis and manual manual of mental disorders), or the classification of mental disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, criteria for the diagnosis of caffeine withdrawal syndrome are included. Disorders related to the consumption of caffeine have been recognized as a problem requiring further research.

Moderate consumption of caffeine, ie about 5 cups of coffee a day, does not have negative effects on adults. However, this looks slightly different in children and adolescents, in whom low doses (100-400 mg) can cause negative symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness and sleep disorders. Considering the fact that caffeine may have a beneficial effect on the mood, for young people reaching for coffee in order to achieve this effect may lead to the development of abnormal habits.

3. Some reasons to drink coffee

First of all, coffee probably reduces the risk of premature death. Based on the results of current research on the health effects of drinking coffee, it has been shown that the lowest risk is associated with drinking 3 cups a day.

In comparison with people who do not drink coffee, coffee drinks are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease. Research shows that an extra cup of coffee a day can reduce the risk of death for cardiovascular reasons by 2%.

The higher the intake of coffee, the lower the risk of developing tumors, including prostate, liver, endometrium. People who consume coffee in comparison with coffee abstinents are less exposed to the risk of liver cirrhosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (by 1/3). Reducing the risk of these serious diseases by 30% is a spectacular result and a leading argument in favor of incorporating this drink into the daily diet.

Daily drinking of coffee may act prophylactically for type II diabetes. The caffeine is probably not responsible for this effect, but the other components of coffee, because decaffeinated coffee also works prophylactically.

Decaffeinated coffee, however, does not protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease (as opposed to traditional coffee).

4. Decaffeinated coffee – does it have similar effects?
The composition of decaffeinated coffee is not much different with the profile of active compounds except for caffeine, which contains traces. Decaffeinated coffee does not bring as many beneficial effects as the natural one, however, its consumption also reduces the risk of some diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and endometrial cancer.

5. Summary

In conclusion – drinking coffee brings far more benefits than threats. In fact, there is not enough evidence of any harmful effects, except during pregnancy, in which caffeine should be limited due to the developing body of the child.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes cause a much longer persistence of this compound in the blood of a pregnant woman. This is extremely important considering that caffeine passes easily to the amniotic fluid. In addition, the CYP1A2 metabolising enzyme activity in the fetus is very low. This means that a child in the womb consuming large amounts of coffee is exposed to its action much longer than the average adult person. Therefore it is reasonable to preserve moderation. Drinking coffee during pregnancy may increase the risk of low birth weight of a child, miscarriage, premature birth.

Moderate consumption of coffee is also recommended to women because of the results of the study, which suggest that a higher intake of coffee may increase the risk of fractures (in men, this trend has not been demonstrated). It is difficult to say whether we can blame caffeine for this state of affairs. After all, intake up to 400 mg of caffeine per day should not lead to any negative consequences. However, there are doubts about the relationship between drinking coffee and the higher incidence of lung cancer. It is suspected, however, that this relationship is due to the fact that smokers often drink coffee regularly. Therefore, smoking seems to be the deciding factor, which has not been included in some studies.

Bibliography
Poole R. et al., Coffee consumption and health umbrella review of meta-analyzes of multiple health outcomes, The BMJ 2017, 359, 5024.

Budney AJ, Emond I, Caffeine addiction? Caffeine for youth? Time to act !, Society for the Study of Addiction 2014, 109, 1771-1772.

Bojarowicz H., Przygoda M., Kofeina. Part 1. Widespread use of caffeine and its effects on the body, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology, 2012, 93 (1), 80-13.

Wolde T., Effect of caffeine on health and nutrition, Food Science and Quality Management 2014, 30, 59-65.

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