The National Coffee Association suggests that 54 percent of American adults drink coffee and those who do drink about 382 million cups of coffee every year. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2010 suggested that 73 percent of children consume some type of caffeine, and much of that caffeine comes from coffee. Many say that this caffeine-filled drink is good for them, but others may disagree.
Some benefits come with drinking coffee. WebMD.com states that a growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Coffee drinkers also have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.
“There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health,” said Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The vast majority of those studies show that drinking coffee prevents diabetes. And now there is also evidence that decaffeinated coffee may have the same benefit as regular coffee,” Hu tells WebMD.
“For Parkinson’s disease, the data has been consistent: higher consumption of coffee is associated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s,” Hu tells WebMD. That seems to be due to caffeine, though exactly how that works is not clear, Hu notes.
“All of the studies have shown that high coffee consumption is associated with decreased risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer,” says Hu. Like coffee and Parkinson’s disease, it is not clear how caffeine might work to prevent disease.
Charter Oak students also have something to say about coffee.
“I have not had any problems, and I really like it, although I do not like the aftertaste that much,” said sophomore Monica Lomeli.
Vanessa Mata, sophomore, said that she drinks coffee every morning, and she has never had any health issues with coffee too.
Coffee drinkers may have other advantages, such as better diets, more exercise, or protective genes. There is not solid scientific evidence that caffeine provides the health benefits, but there are signs of potential health perks.
Although there seems to be many benefits to drinking coffee, it also has its downside.
Livescience.com states that unfiltered coffee—such as Turkish coffee, or coffee made with a French press—can increase your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. And women who drink more than five cups of coffee a day may have more trouble getting pregnant with in vitro fertilization than women who do not.
“I do not like coffee. It never helps me stay awake, and I get really moody after drinking it,” said sophomore Renae de la Peña.
The caffeine in coffee can have negative effects, like temporary insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach issues, rapid heartbeat and muscle tremors, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Also, if you stop consuming coffee, there may be significant life-interfering withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood and difficulty concentrating.
Coffee affects every person in different ways. If you have any questions about any health problems you might have that are linked to coffee, you should consult your doctor to see if you have any serious problems.