When people think of coffee, they usually think of its ability to provide an energy boost. However, according to some research, it can also offer some other important health benefits, such as a lower risk of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure.
Worldwide, experts estimate that people consume around 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day.
Researchers have looked at the benefits of drinking coffee for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease. There is evidence to support some, but not all, of these claims.
Coffee contains a number of useful nutrients, including riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), magnesium, potassium, and various phenolic compounds, or antioxidants. Some experts suggest that these and other ingredients in coffee can benefit the human body in various ways.
This article looks at the health benefits of drinking coffee, the evidence supporting those benefits, and the risks of drinking coffee.
The potential health benefitsTrusted Source associated with drinking coffee include:
- protection against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and liver cancer
- the promotion of a healthy heart
In the sections below, we cover these benefits in more detail.
1. Coffee and diabetes
Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes.
In 2014, researchers who gathered data on over 48,000 people found that those who increased their coffee consumption by at least one cup per day over 4 years had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not increase their intake.
A meta-analysisTrusted Source from 2017 concluded that people who drank four to six cups of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee each day appeared to have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes.
2. Coffee and Parkinson’s disease
Various studies have shown that caffeine, which is present in coffee and many other beverages, may help protect against Parkinson’s disease.
One team concluded that men who drink over four cups of coffee per day might have a fivefold lower risk of Parkinson’s than those who do not.
In addition, the caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people with Parkinson’s, according to one 2012 study.
The findings of a 2017 meta-analysis suggested a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, even among people who smoke. This team also found that people who drink coffee may be less likely to experience depression and cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
There was not enough evidenceTrusted Source to prove that drinking decaffeinated coffee would help prevent Parkinson’s disease, however.
3. Coffee and liver cancer
Italian researchers found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of liver cancer by around 40%. Some of the results suggest that people who drink three cups per day might have a 50% lower risk.