Many researchers like coffee for the caffeine-attributed energy boost that awakens their mind in the morning or in the afternoon after several hours of lab work or vigorous brainstorming. Other just crave for its distinctive bitter aroma that they learned to like.
I started ‘using’ coffee by dipping cookies into my grandma’s morning coffee but I didn’t really get hooked before university. We’ve all heard that coffee is addictive, but is it really an addiction or just a treat you don’t want to get rid of? Are 3 cups of coffee a day (approx. 250 mg caffeine) bad for your health?
Moderate coffee drinkers do not develop a physical dependence to caffeine.
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) ‘Facts and Fiction’ leaflet states that ‘3-5 regular cups a day are safe’ and that ‘moderate coffee drinkers do not develop a physical dependence to caffeine‘. Further, research articles are cited that suggest coffee drinking improves sports performance, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may even reduce the risk of stroke. Another recent study even suggests that regular coffee consumption contributes to DNA integrity. Be aware that the benefits were found for ‘moderate coffee consumption’!
The genetic study found no correlation between coffee consumption and lifestyle disease risks.
Since ‘big data’ analysis is a common practice nowadays, you might ask yourself, if there are any large studies to support these claims? A recently published Mendelian randomization study looked at a population of more than 93,000 Danes to find associations between coffee drinking and three common lifestyle diseases – obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The study found that variations in genes CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and AHR were associated to high coffee consumption. Although observational studies suggested coffee drinking could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, the genetic study found no correlation between identified gene variations and lifestyle disease risks.
Hopefully, after reading this, you will enjoy your morning coffee even more!
By Marko Petek, PhD, Research and Development Associate, BioSistemika LLC