Health Benefits of Caffeine
- Parkinson's disease. A 2010 review study found that higher regular consumption of caffeine was correlated with a lower risk of Parkinson's. A 2020 study in the journal Neurology looked at whether coffee can protect people with a specific gene mutation that decreases risk of developing Parkinson's and found a correlation between that genetic mutation and blood caffeine levels.
- Type 2 diabetes. Though some research indicates that caffeine can raise blood sugar and insulin levels for people with diabetes, if you don't yet have the disease, being a regular coffee drinker could actually lower your risk of developing it. A large 2014 study found that people who increased coffee consumption by more than one cup per day saw an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Liver disease. According to a 2017 study, coffee has "hepatoprotective properties," meaning it can help protect the liver. That investigation found that coffee appears to reduce the risk of liver cancer and may slow the progression of chronic liver diseases.
- Heart failure. The American Heart Association reports that drinking one or more cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of heart failure, but only if the coffee contains caffeine. That's according to a 2021 study looking at the connection between heart health and coffee intake.
- Stroke. Coffee consumption and risk of stroke have been studied extensively, and results have been mixed. However, a 2018 review study found moderate consumption of coffee was protective against stroke, and a large cohort study that followed 83,000 women over 24 years found significant evidence of coffee decreasing stroke risk.
There's also some research that suggests caffeine could help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. In addition, the stimulant effect of caffeine may help support your metabolism, leading to weight loss.
While caffeine certainly has some potential health benefits, it may be that the real value comes from the context of consuming moderate levels of it in coffee or tea rather than just the caffeine itself. There are other elements in coffee and tea that can also impact your overall well-being, and it could be a case of the sum is greater than its parts.
"Health benefits achieved through coffee or tea consumption are generally attributed to the polyphenols and antioxidants," plant-based compounds that can support cellular health that are present in the beverages,