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6 Cups of Coffee a Day: What happens to your Body?

What happens to our body when drinking 6 cups of coffee a day?

The debate about coffee is a highly controversial one. While some studies pointing to the dark sides of coffee consumption make it addictive and harmful, more modern studies suggest that drinking coffee does have many benefits on health. Let's have a closer look at this beverage known worldwide and what lies beneath its coffee grounds.

Studies about Coffee 

Recent studies on the effects of coffee on inflammation point to the beneficial effects of coffee consumption. The result of these studies shows that inflammation biomarkers (blood concentrations of CRP, Interleukin 6, C peptide and other pro-inflammatory agents) are lower among coffee drinkers than among decaffeinated coffee drinkers.

Coffee - lover scientists also emphasize the high levels of antioxidants in coffee, mostly polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids that are effective in neutralizing free radicals and oxidative stress. Regularly drinking coffee would therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other inflammatory diseases.

It is essential to consider coffee as a medicinal plant, rather than just a beverage.
Drinking too much (over 6 cups a day) will naturally lead to metabolic disorders. Just as coffee can soothe inflammation, the curve of inflammatory biomarkers can reverse when used in large amounts.  

A white desk with a cup of coffee, headphones, an iPad and notepads

Coffee can hence aggravate an inflammatory terrain as much as it can soothe it if drunk in moderation. 

And although coffee does contain antioxidant components, we have to remember that the roasting process creates acrylamide residues (as in barbecued meat or over browned toast), generating oxidative stress and inflammation. The amount of acrylamide depends on the roasting process. The less the coffee is roasted, the less acrylamide it will contain.

Coffee is an alkaloid, which helps stimulate mental faculties due to its action on liberating adrenaline and noradrenaline, two hormones that give you the kick you desire from your cuppa. If this highly desired effect may be pleasant and efficient in the short run, a coffee overuse will end up exhausting your adrenal glands and lead the path to low grade inflammation.

Another dark side of the beverage is its high acid- forming character, which means that it may produce toxins that the body must deal with. And too many toxins trigger the inflammatory process.

Like most things, coffee is neither 100% bad nor 100% healthy. The effect it has on us also greatly depends on our genetic predisposition, on the quality of the bean and on the way it has been processed and prepared.

If you suffer from intestinal disorders, stomach acidity, anxiety or hypertension, you probably already know that coffee will not have a positive effect on you.

As a coffee lover, I suggest you drink it sugar and milk free (as milk added to coffee makes it highly indigestible, and therefore inflammatory). Go for organic brands, and keep away from aluminium capsules.

Coffee combines the effect of food and drug. It is therefore wise to consider it as such and appreciate a good quality cup of coffee, fully aware that taken in moderation it will do you no harm.

Botanical Alternatives 

A red tomato inside and a tomato cut on a wooden floor

To reduce caffeine consumption, but still keeping your mental focus high, remember there are all-natural botanical extracts that can be a great alternative to coffee. As an example, Naturalea SA developed its patented Noomato™ nootropics. This tomato extract powers Crownhealth’s Organic Energy Bars, improving mental cognition with no side effects on the body.

 

Author: Marie-Noëlle Bourgeois, nutritionist 

 

References 

Coffee consumption and plasma biomarkers of metabolic and inflammatory pathways in US health professionals , Dong Hang, Ane Sørlie Kværner, Wenjie Ma, Yang Hu, Fred K Tabung, Hongmei Nan, Zhibin Hu, Hongbing Shen, Lorelei A Mucci, Andrew T Chan The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 109, Issue 3, March 2019, Pages 635–647

Associations between coffee consumption and inflammatory markers in healthy persons: the ATTICA study, Antonis Zampelas, Demosthenes B Panagiotakos, Christos Pitsavos, Christina Chrysohoou, Christodoulos Stefanadis , The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 4, October 2004

Coffee Consumption Modulates Inflammatory Processes in an Individual Fashion, Besnik Muqaku Ammar Tahir , Philip Klepeisz, Andrea Bileck , Dominique Kreutz , Rupert L Mayer , Samuel M Meier , Marlene Gerner , Klaus Schmetterer , Christopher Gerner, Mol Nutr Food Res; 2016 Dec

The effect of roasting on total polyphenol and antioxidant activity of coffee. Bobková A, Hudáček M, Jakabová S, et al. J Environ Sci Health B. 2020 Feb;18:1-6.

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