Oct 19, 2020
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My drink. So is coffee useful or dangerous and in what quantity?

Coffee is a troublemaker. There are regular news about its beneficial and harmful properties.

Coffee in the morning on an empty stomach, taken to be toned after a lack of sleep, contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. This is reported by scientists at the Center for the Study of Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at the University of Bath in England.

Coffee protects from Parkinson's disease, even those to whom it was written in the family - they have a "Parkinson's gene" that contributes to the development of this disease. This is the conclusion reached by American scientists from Massachusetts. And coffee's ability to protect people from this disease without a hereditary predisposition has been shown before, and more than once.

If every earthling drank at least 2 cups of coffee every day, there would be hundreds of thousands less deaths from liver cancer in the world. This is the conclusion reached by Australian scientists. And their claim is not out of the blue: in recent years, several studies have been published showing that coffee reduces the risk of cancer and other liver diseases. In numbers, the protective effect looks like this: 2-3 daily cups reduce the likelihood of cancer by 38%, and the risk of dying from it by 46%. According to their calculations, if all people in the world drank 2 cups of coffee a day, then in 2016 there would be 452,861 fewer deaths from liver cancer. And if everyone drank 4 cups, there would be 723,287 fewer of them. Scientists are advocating that governments and health authorities begin to promote coffee consumption as a way to reduce the incidence of liver cancer.

2-3 cups of coffee a day prolong the lives of people with metastatic colorectal cancer. And 4 cups make it even longer. This conclusion was reached by scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston - one of the best cancer clinics in the United States.

These data have been published in serious scientific journals for the last two months. There seem to be more useful effects, but there are also many negative ones.

In May, Australian scientists told the world that persistent coffee consumption increases the risk of three diseases - osteoarthritis, arthrosis and obesity. Those in whose families there were such diseases (and therefore there is a predisposition to them), they advise not to abuse this drink.

But in the same month, American scientists published the opposite information about obesity. They found that women aged 20–44 who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day had the lowest level of obesity - 3.4% lower than those who did not drink it. Among women 45–69 years old, obesity was less common by 4.1%. Overall, women of all ages who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day had an average percentage of body fat 2.8% lower. In men, this relationship was less significant, but it was also present.

Last year, researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK discovered how coffee works. It stimulated the so-called brown fat in the body. This prevented the accumulation of white fat, which makes us obese. Other drinks and foods with such beneficial effects on brown adipose tissue have not yet been found.

On the other hand, an observation in the United States of 40 thousand people showed a statistically significant increase in mortality - by 21% - among those who drink more than 28 cups of coffee per week (4 per day). Moreover, men and women under 55 are at risk more than others - their risk of death increases by more than 50%. Interestingly, there were no such side effects of coffee love in older people. Although there is also opposite scientific data obtained in other large studies conducted in the European Union and the United States.

Experts can explain many of these contradictions. First of all, they are associated with genetics - hereditary features of the metabolism of caffeine, which began to be studied only recently (see expert opinion)... This approach helps to make coffee harmless for anyone. It's all about the dose.

Expert opinion

Famous biogerontologist, professor, doctor of biological sciences Alexey Moskalev:

- Coffee tones, or rather, blocks the ability of the brain to feel tired. It used to be thought that coffee increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and this could be considered a negative effect, but this has not been confirmed later. At the same time, roasting coffee beans produces, albeit in small quantities, a carcinogen - acrylamide. Coffee may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer, and not just in smokers.

Nevertheless, coffee contains many useful substances. For example, it contains many different polyphenols. And perhaps that's why it protects the liver - it reduces the risk of fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. This has been demonstrated in serious research. Plus it has beneficial anti-inflammatory compounds. And substances like cafeestol and kahweol can inhibit the development of prostate cancer in men. Regular coffee intake improved the lipid profile in people with metabolic syndrome. This protects against the development of atherosclerosis and plaque in the vessels. Studies have shown that 3 cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of mortality from all causes (that is, from heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases) by 18%. And one cup of coffee a day reduced this mortality rate by 12%. In another large study, 3 cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 13%.

Unfortunately, most studies on the health benefits or dangers of coffee did not take into account the genetic characteristics of the subjects. The fact is that some people, including myself, slowly remove caffeine from the body, and for them the daily dose of coffee should not exceed a couple of cups (there are about 50% of such people). This can be determined using a special genetic test for an enzyme with a complex name CYP1A2 (cytochrome P450 1A2), nowadays they are available. This enzyme exists in three versions, and not only the metabolism of caffeine depends on this, but also some drugs, as well as a number of substances with a carcinogenic effect. Including heterocyclic amines formed during high-temperature food processing (frying, grilling, baking in the oven). This is useful information for correcting your diet and life in general.

It is also important to note that drinking coffee in the morning on an empty stomach should be done with caution - it can damage the stomach lining and even increase blood sugar levels after breakfast. Summing up, you need to understand that everything is good in moderation. And if you have no contraindications, then 3 cups of coffee a day will benefit most people, and more is not worth it.

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