Ahhhh! The joy of coffee. Some of us cannot live without our delicious morning brew – it’s like a big hug in a mug. But is your daily cup of coffee causing you inflammation? Here is what I found out!
There has been some talk in recent years that not only did coffee cause inflammation, but it also exacerbated symptoms of inflammatory conditions like joint pain and gastrointestinal issues. However, research has shown that coffee does not cause inflammation in most people, even if you tend to drink more than two caffeinated cups a day. In fact, coffee actually does the opposite, because it may have anti-inflammatory effects in the body[i]. Research has shown that having a regular coffee consumption lowers the risk[ii] for certain inflammatory-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, gout, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Coffee contains over 1,000 bioactive compounds which is why it has anti-inflammatory benefits. It particularly has a good source of polyphenols, which are compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds seem to stop free radicals that can cause damage and inflammation in the body.
What is Regular Coffee Consumption?
According to the Food and Drug Administration[iii], it is generally safe to drink 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This comes out to about four or five 8-ounce cups of coffee. If you notice any side effects such as anxiety, rapid heart rate, mood changes, or headaches, then you need to cut back. Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently based on their genetic makeup. Excessive amounts of caffeine or even a little with some people can cause inflammation.
What About Sugar, Cream, and Decaf?
Most of the scientific data observing the benefits of caffeinated black coffee were done with no additions of sugar, sweeteners, or cream. These types of ingredients[iv], in addition to chemicals and saturated fats are inflammatory when consumed in excess amounts.
It is important to note that past research[v] has shown that even when cream and sugar were added, coffee still provided many health benefits. When consumed in moderation, there was little evidence of inflammation when these ingredients were added.
And, you decaf lovers will be happy to hear that research shows decaffeinated coffee offers comparable health benefits to regular coffee. Although a few studies show slightly lower inflammatory markers with decaffeinated coffee than regular coffee, the consensus is that caffeine was not the major contributor to the anti-inflammatory benefits found with coffee consumption. It had more to do with the polyphenols which are found in both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee.
So, what’s the verdict?
When consumed is moderation, scientific research shows that coffee does not cause inflammation in most people.
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For a delicious cup of coffee that is also good for your brain, please try Grateful Earth!
Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She has several years of experience in content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies. She is a diarist, ghostwriter, and the author of Passion of Flames. Isabella has special interests in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, and natural healing as it pertains the body, mind, and soul.
[i] Paiva C;Beserra B;Reis C;Dorea JG;Da Costa T;Amato AA; (n.d.). Consumption of coffee or caffeine and serum concentration of inflammatory markers: A systematic review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28967799/ [ii] Poole, R., Kennedy, O. J., Roderick, P., Fallowfield, J. A., Hayes, P. C., & Parkes, J. (2017, November 22). Coffee Consumption and Health: Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/ [iii] Commissioner, O. of the. (n.d.). Spilling the beans: How much caffeine is too much?. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much [iv] Carolyn Williams, Ph. D. (2023, January 30). The 8 worst foods to eat for inflammation. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/2052349/the-8-worst-foods-to-eat-for-inflammation/ [v] Loftfield, E., Freedman, N. D., Graubard, B. I., Guertin, K. A., Black, A., Huang, W.-Y., Shebl, F. M., Mayne, S. T., & Sinha, R. (2015, December 15). Association of coffee consumption with overall and cause-specific mortality in a large US prospective cohort study. American journal of epidemiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875735/