1. Why do we hear so much conflicting information about coffee?
Well, is there anything in this world that is 100% good or bad, 100% right or wrong. Even cigarette smoking has some benefits. It is best to see both sides of the caffeine picture, and extract the best of both worlds.
2. So, what are the good things about coffee?
But these could be momentary benefits derived at the expense of long-term damage.
3. And what’s the bad?
Caffeine inhibits important nutrient absorption, and caffeine has acrylamides (chemicals found in industrial processes and in cigarette smoke). For a person who is already low in nutrients with a weak immune system, caffeine doesn’t help but worsen the immune system.
Good or bad, the key could be in the amount of coffee we drink.
4. Absorption of which nutrients are inhibited?
Calcium: Caffeine causes calcium to be excreted in the urine and feces.
Vitamin D: Caffeine inhibits Vitamin D receptors. This limits the amount of Vitamin D that will be absorbed.
Iron: Caffeine interferes with the body’s absorption of iron, reducing absorption by up to 80%.
B vitamins: Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, which increases urination. Water soluble vitamins, such as the B vitamins, can be depleted as a result of this fluid loss.
Other minerals and vitamins: Caffeine may reduce the absorption of manganese, zinc and copper. It also increases the excretion of the minerals magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphate. There is also evidence that caffeine interferes with the action of Vitamin A.
There is a study showing that caffeine can lead to “loss of coronary dilation”, meaning the blood vessels of the heart become less elastic, easier to damage, more prone heart attacks (and strokes).
5. What are acrylamides?
Acrylamides are carcinogenic substances that form when sugars and an amino acid (naturally present in food) are cooked at high temperatures – such as in frying, roasting and baking.
For coffee, acrylamides are formed during the roasting process of the coffee beans to create the desired browning aromatic process.
The WHO (World Health Organization) took coffee off the “cancer danger list” based on “a lack of evidence”.
We know it causes cancer in some animals (meaning it is toxic), but we are unable to prove it causes cancer in humans (yet).
6. With so many people enjoying coffee, what can we do?
We can cut down coffee consumption to just a tiny cup each time – to about 30ml. This way, we enjoy the stimulus and satisfy the taste buds without burdening the body to cope with too much caffeine.
To heighten the enjoyment of that small bit of coffee, try eating sweet dates then sipping coffee.
Counteract the effects of caffeine by drinking more water and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables — all of which have water and antioxidants.
The information shared here is for educational purposes only.
These opinions are not given as medical advice and not intended to replace or conflict with your decisions or healthcare providers’ advice.
1. Michael Greger. “What About the Caffeine?” NutritionFacts,org
2. Wolde, Tsedeke. “Effects of caffeine on health and nutrition: A Review“, Food Science and Quality Management, Vol.30, 2014
3. Hurrell, Richard. “Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages“, British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 81, Issue 4, April 1999
4. Rapuri, Prema et al. “Caffeine intake increases the rate of bone loss in elderly women and interacts with vitamin D receptor genotypes“, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 74, Issue 5, November 2001, Pages 694–700
5. Rapuri, Prema et al. “Caffeine decreases vitamin D receptor protein expression and 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity in human osteoblast cells“, The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 103, Issues 3–5, March 2007, Pages 368-371
6. Higdon, Jane & Frei, Balz. “Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 46, 2006 – Issue 2, Pages 101-123.
7. Shirley Wee, Tamsin L. Jenner, and Roselyn B. Rose’Meyer. “Loss of Coronary Dilation to N6-2-(4-Aminophenyl) Ethyladenosine in Isolated Hearts from Chronic Caffeine- and Nifedipine-Treated Rats“, Journal of Caffeine Research, Vol 1, Issue 1, Mar 2011.
8. Kristina Bagdonaite, Karin Derler, and Michael Murkovic. “Determination of Acrylamide during Roasting of Coffee“,Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Jul 2008, 56 (15), 6081-6086.