Benefits of Coffee
- February 28, 2023
Many of your patients may already start their day with a healthy dietary supplement: a cup of coffee. Over the past several decades, the medical perception of coffee has shifted tremendously. It’s come a long way; in the 90s, the World Health Organization declared coffee a potential carcinogen. Today, coffee has been destigmatized. Dozens of studies reveal its potential health benefits. As a natural preventative and curative, your patients may be interested in exploring this daily pick-me-up’s perks. Here’s what science has to say about the health benefits of coffee.
Most coffee drinkers are trying to get a caffeine hit. One of the immediate effects of caffeine is a boost of energy. Daily caffeine consumption reduces drowsiness. Though the caffeine content depends on the type of coffee, the average cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine. Since as little as 30-50 mg of caffeine positively affects attention levels, boosts focus, and increases mental clarity, a single cup of coffee is more than enough to keep your patients alert. Coffee has even been shown to reduce alpha wave activity.
Reduction in Alpha Wave Activity
Alpha waves, responsible for keeping the body calm and relaxed, are directly associated with drowsiness. In periods of rest such as meditation or the early stages of sleep, alpha wave levels spike. If these alpha waves dominate large portions of the day, focusing can be difficult. Patients with high alpha wave activity may struggle with fatigue throughout the day, which may further interfere with regular sleep patterns. Research even shows that alpha wave activity is high for those suffering from insomnia.
Caffeinated coffee has been shown to reduce alpha wave activity and increase beta wave levels. As beta waves are high during moments of focus, concentration, and active thinking, coffee can improve performance in each of these areas.
Caffeine can also have a significant impact on long-term mental function. As a stimulant, coffee raises physiological activity in the nervous system. Over time, this repeated stimulation benefits your patients’ working memory and executive function.
Working Memory and Executive Function
In a placebo double-blind study, caffeinated coffee increased both working memory and executive function. Compared to decaf, participants who had caffeinated coffee showed significantly improved cognition. They exhibited advanced creative thinking, better time- and action-based memory, and reduced reaction time.
Full of magnesium, riboflavin, and other important nutrients, coffee has many health advantages. Regularly drinking coffee can even prevent several life-threatening ailments. These include cancer, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
The anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee have recently been given the spotlight. While additional research is required for definitive support, current evidence shows that coffee works against carcinogens in several ways. First, coffee fights against free radicals. Coffee beans also contain chologenic, ferulic, caffeic, and n-coumaric acids, all of which are considered to have antioxidant properties. A meta analysis concluded that coffee protects against hepatocellular and colorectal cancers. A daily cup of coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer.
Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
One of the most surprising effects of coffee is in heart health. Though coffee’s relationship to cholesterol is still debated, coffee reduces the risk of heart disease. It can bolster weakened hearts, preventing heart failure. Those who drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day even have a lower risk of stroke. However, high levels of caffeine can trigger an increased heart rate and negatively affect blood pressure. This may put undue pressure on the heart. Therefore, moderate caffeine intake is recommended for best results.
Type 2 Diabetes
Coffee increases blood sugar in the short-term. Yet, consistent coffee drinkers—whether it’s regular or decaf—are at a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. In a large groundbreaking study with over 120,000 participants, those that drank more than a cup of coffee each day were at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, reduced coffee intake in subsequent years showed an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. This may be due to one particular compound found in regular coffee and decaf: cafestol. A trial study showed that cafestol stimulated insulin production in mice, revealing that decaffeinated coffee may present similar health benefits to its caffeinated alternative.
Along with promoting wakefulness, coffee can prevent several neurological diseases. Coffee has long been thought to work against Parkinson’s disease. According to a 2018 study, coffee has two components that fight Parkinson’s. First, caffeine; second, eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT). By promoting beta wave activity and stimulating mental clarity, executive function, and working memory, caffeine helps mitigate the symptoms of neurological conditions. EHT works alongside caffeine to prevent mental deterioration. Likewise, these components may prevent additional conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Those who drink 3-5 cups of coffee per day during midlife are 65% less likely to have Alzheimer’s or dementia during later life.
Monitoring Coffee Consumption
It was long thought that, to experience the benefits of coffee, patients should avoid sweeteners and cream. However, recent evidence shows that dairy may enhance the efficacy of the polyphenols found in coffee. As polyphenols are the most abundant source of antioxidants in diet, adding cream may be the best way to enjoy the health benefits of coffee. To monitor the efficacy of coffee for your patients, you need reliable data at a microscopic level. AML’s health and wellness panel measures important markers in the blood. Effective, accessible, and customizable, our panels are a valuable asset for tracking the effects of your patients’ diets. After our team of experts receives the sample, they will return the results in 24 hours. Learn more about testing with Access Medical Labs.
More About Dr. Ghen
Mitchell Ghen, DO, Ph.D. has 33 years of experience in Anti-Aging and holistic and integrative medicine. Along with his work in nutritional medicine, “Dr. Mitch” has a remarkable amount of experience as an expert clinician and researcher in the field of stem cell transplantation.
In addition to being a physician, Dr. Mitch holds a Master’s Degree in Biomechanical Trauma and has a Ph.D. in nutrition and psychoneuroimmunology. He is an international lecturer on oral and IV nutrition and stem cell transplantation and is recognized as one of the premier teachers at conferences and seminars on integrative medicine. His private practice is in Boca Raton, Florida.
Dr. Mitch’s vast academic knowledge, coupled with his entertaining delivery, makes him one of the most sought after personalities in his field. Currently, he is a medical director for several Natural Medicine companies and a consultant for physicians worldwide, teaching them how to implement integrative medicine into their practices.
He is the co-author of four textbooks including the “Advance Guide to Longevity Medicine,” “The Ghen and Raine’s Guide to Compounding Pharmaceuticals,” “The Anti-Aging Physicians’ Handbook for Compounding Pharmaceuticals,” and “The Essentials and Science of IV Parenteral Medicine.”