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Coffee: a bioactive bean.

Taking a look at the benefits and possible negative side effects in your morning brew.



This was originally posted to my Instagram account @StephanieCoburnMSRD for International Coffee Day. As a coffer lover, I wanted to highlight some of the benefits and possible negative side effects of this beautiful bean. I


Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide (3rd only behind water and tea) and is one of the main sources of caffeine consumptions in adults.


It's only fitting that we highlight some health benefits of this powerhouse of a bean on this special day!


What is the recommended intake if you're drinking caffeinated coffee?


It's recommended that adults limit consumption to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in 2-4 cups of brewed coffee. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in coffee beverages can vary widely.


Some of the many benefits of coffee include:


  • High antioxidant activity

  • Anti-microbial properties

  • Reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases

  • Decreased incidence of inflammatory diseases

  • Reduced risk of various types of cancer including hepatic cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, colon cancer, malignant melanoma and endometrial cancer

  • Reduced riks of some neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

  • Reduced risk of hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis

  • Reduced risks of heart failure, arrythmia, stroke and all cause mortality

  • Reduced menopausal symptoms

  • Increased agility and mood stability



Some of the bioactive compounds in coffee that contribue to all of these benefits are:


  • Caffeine

  • Caffeic acid

  • Phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acid (caffeoylquinic acid)

  • Trigonelline

  • Diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol.


Yes, you can have too much of a good thing!


Some common negative side effects of caffeinated coffee:


  • Heartburn

  • Abnormal heart rhythm

  • Elevated blood pressure

  • Headaches

  • Nervousness

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Dizziness

  • Muscle tremors

  • Dehydration

  • Frequent urination or inability to control urination

  • Restlessness


If you are experiencing any of the listed negative side effects, try reducing your caffeine intake by having a "half caff" which is a half regular and half decaf coffee. Opting for herbal tea is another approach.


Some medications and herbal supplements may interact with caffeine. Examples include Ephedrine, Thoephylline and Echinacia. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist about whether caffeine might negatively impact your medications.

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