Does Coffee Cause Inflammation? Here’s What Science Says

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For the longest time, coffee drinkers and the public alike have always been wondering if this happy juice (coffee) can lead to inflammation and illnesses like arthritis.

Well, it’s the question that we’re going to answer today and can’t wait to share the information with you.

Knowing the answer to  the link between coffee drinking and inflammation is important.

After all, health is what matters, right? 

Here’s a tip: monitoring your daily coffee intake can affect your health and body.

That’s common with other drinks, such as tea, as well.

does coffee cause inflammation

What’s inflammation?

Before getting deeper into the topic, let’s touch on something about inflammation.

You might have been conjuring up an image of swelling and aching joints.

However, inflammation isn’t only about it because it also means the body’s natural response to anything trying to invade or hurt it.

A few include injuries, infections, and toxins.

The swelling happens when the body’s inflammatory response has taken place and that the damaged cells have released harmful chemicals(source). As a result, certain fluids leak into the tissues, resulting in swelling.

Acute inflammation can become severe quickly due to tissue damage occurring due to microbial invasion and trauma.  This type of inflammation lasts between two to six weeks.

Chronic inflammation starts off gradually and stays in the body longer like a few months or years. Worldwide, people die of chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disorders, and obesity.

Nevertheless, chronic inflammation can lead to different diseases, including autoimmune diseases, like lupus.

What are the signs of inflammation?

A few signs to watch out for include balancing problems and muscle weakness. Some people also experience lower back pain, diarrhea, and hardening of the arteries.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

anti detox foods

This diet is composed of foods like olive oil, tomatoes, nuts like walnuts and almonds, green leafy vegetables, including kale and spinach.

It also includes fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna, and salmon.

Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and cherries, are also a part of an anti-inflammatory diet.

You must aim for a balanced diet, nevertheless to stay healthy and reduce inflammation.

Ask your doctor about an anti-inflammatory diet that is composed of whole grains, vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, and fish.

For better results, you might also want to try considering limiting or skipping processed foods altogether. Doing so, you don’t just avoid inflammation but also improve your mental and physical health.

It can also limit your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. That’s not all because you can also greatly improve your overall life quality.

How to prevent inflammation from coffee?

According to Mayo Clinic, it would be safe to have at most 50 mg caffeine/cup daily.

Above this amount would lead to insulin secretion. It might trigger bad responses, including craving for sugar and carbohydrates that might lead to weight gain.

Related: How Much Caffeine in Coffee?

How does caffeine work?

At least 60 plants have caffeine that acts as a stimulant and that affects the body in many ways than one.

Its most famous function is its interaction with the adenosine receptors. Activating these receptors, caffeine can affect different brain functions, including memory, cognition, sleep, and learning.

This substance attaches with the adenosine receptors, preventing them from making you sleepy.

So, with more coffee in your system, the more you will feel alert and awake.

[According to this study published in Nature Medicine, as caffeine can block adenosine, it may also block pathways that manufacture inflammatory molecules.]

pouring black coffee

So, can coffee cause inflammation?

Coffee may fight inflammation because it has polyphenols, a type of antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits.  These micronutrients in coffee can help in protecting against inflammation.

In fact, daily intake can also help lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes(source).

However, coffee may still have potential risks, just like any other drinks for that matter, so let’s be fair.

For example, if consumed too much, it can have its negative effects, too, especially that it’s also a stimulant.

It is important to note that coffee could increase risks to artery stiffness and higher blood pressure.  It could also increase cholesterol and insulin, which can directly be related to inflammation.

fatigue person

How can coffee affect inflammation?

The effects differ depending if you’re a slow or fast metabolizer.

For example, some people cannot tolerate caffeine, and even a cup of joe makes them feel jittery, while others can manage up to five cups without this effect.

It’s why you need to listen to your body. What are the signals that it is giving you? You must adjust your consumption based on what you will discover.

How you drink your coffee

The answer to this question also depends on how you’re drinking coffee.

  • Are you drinking it with much non-dairy creamer with sugar?
  • Are you consuming coffee with much sugar?

Consuming coffee in either of these ways will have their effects on your body and inflammation.

Stress levels and activity

Do you drink your cup of joe to feel awake or start moving? If so, you might also want to reflect and think about how you’re managing stress and how you’re giving importance to sleep.

Remember, high stress levels can also lead to inflammation. Thus, it might be the time to strike a balance in your work and life activities.

Coffee and dehydration

Remember, coffee is a diuretic. It can dehydrate the cells, so you must aim at drinking more water, too, if you cannot help but drink it daily.

cup of black coffee

If you’re an anti-inflammatory diet, can you drink coffee?

Do you think you are prone to inflammation or experiencing some of its signs? Your doctor might advise you to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet.

Coffee is allowed in this diet, but make sure to consume it in moderation. You might also want to ask your doctor about it.

Can coffee help prevent inflammation?

Coffee contains polyphenols(source), a kind of antioxidant. What does this mean? Coffee can help in neutralizing the free radicals that damage the cells.

With more polyphenols in the body, one can prevent inflammation, which is the cause of many diseases as mentioned earlier.

But then, you must drink coffee in moderation, like only up to two cups a day. You must also be mindful of drinks containing much syrup and whipped cream, which can increase

Fast Metabolizers Can Reap the Rewards of Drinking Coffee

People with high caffeine tolerance and a fast metabolizer at the same time, you may be the following benefits of drinking coffee (source).

healthy person exercise

Longer life

Studies had it that people who drank as much coffee or green tea could live longer. During the study, coffee drinkers had lower risk of dying, based on a study by the New England Journal of Medicine.

That is not all because succeeding studies also revealed the same promising results.  Want to live longer? Start with your coffee habit.

Cancer prevention

Another amazing benefit of coffee is on cancer prevention. Studies had it that people who consume coffee could lower their risk of developing cancer(source).

It includes preventing colon cancer and prostate cancer.  If you want a longer life and prevent this killer disease, you should take your daily dose of coffee.

Insulin and sugar balance

Another interesting potential of coffee is its aid in blood sugar regulation. It could help lower your risk to diabetes, which is one of the world’s killer diseases.

Caffeine has a great benefit for balancing insulin and sugar (source).  Not only the caffeine in coffee but also in green tea that can give you the same benefit.

Metabolism

People who drink more coffee can experience a faster metabolism, which may aid in weight loss and proper energy consumption.

And if you love exercising, this benefit can also give you a lot of advantages. You can improve your athletic and exercise performance.

Mood and memory

Do you want to improve cognitive function? Coffee may help!

This drink is so potent that it may help in decreasing brain fog and increasing mental clarity.

It may also help in increasing the brain’s neurotransmitters, which aids in improving your mood.

A lot of studies had also revealed that coffee could protect the brain from degradation and diseases including dementia.

People could also lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease(source).

Nevertheless, coffee offers a huge potential for preventing a wide range of brain diseases, which the elderly commonly suffer from if they don’t take care of brain health at a younger age.

happy person drinking coffee

So, does drinking coffee cause inflammation?

Coffee can help in preventing inflammation among fast metabolizers who can tolerate it well. If you’re noticing some signs of inflammation, but still want to drink coffee, you might want to consult your doctor about it for recommended dosage as well as about an anti-inflammatory diet that suits you.

Nevertheless, you must drink coffee in moderation especially if you are a slow metabolizer or consider mild blends.

Charles Vallena
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.

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