Is Coffee Healthy?

Millions of people around the world drink the most popular drink every day in centuries. At the beginning of consumption in Europe, coffee (as well as tea) was rated less as a food and more often as a medicine. Everyone likes to drink a cup of water or two or three or … this substance is one of the basic foods in everyday life.

Scientific studies show that coffee has numerous effects on the human organism. At the same time, numerous rumours and errors about the negative effects of coffee consumption on health are still circulating in public and in medical circles.


The historical background of Coffee

History goes back to the penultimate millennium. She is surrounded by many legends. For example, that of the goat herder Kaldi, who watched one night as some of his animals – after enjoying red fruits from small shrubs – jumped around cheerfully while the others slept. As a result, Kaldi itself cost the berries and immediately felt a stimulating effect.

When a monk met him, he noticed the euphoric state of Kaldi, made a brew out of this plant, and realized that his tiredness was fading, that he could stay awake at night and follow his prayers.

The Ethiopian Kaffa is assumed to be the region of origin. Through slave traders, the invigorating drink spread in the Arab world and thus became the most traded “raw material” at that time. The coffee reached Europe via the sea route from Mocha in Yemen, also known as mocha.

The first coffee houses were built in the Orient and in 1645 in Venice, the important trading city with the Far East. Oxford, London and Paris followed. The matching pastry was served in Vienna in the form of a Turkish crescent: the first literary mention of the “summit”.

Arabica has a global market share of 60 percent, the Robusta of about 30 percent. The economic importance of international trade is undisputed, with an annual world trade volume of USD 22 billion. Every year, 8 million tons of coffee are produced in around 90 countries. Brazil is the largest producer with 28% of the world’s harvest. More than 50 percent are purchased and processed by the USA, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. Every Swiss enjoys an average of 9.1 kg of coffee per year, which is the third highest consumption volume in the world, behind Finland and Norway.


Your effect

As early as the 16th century, British doctors described in detail the health benefits of the drink, ranging from “helping digestion, accelerating the mind, making the heart easy” to “relieved cough, headache and water addiction”. Nevertheless, coffee still has to fight against its health-damaging reputation,

which according to the proven results of numerous studies is a stubborn fallacy. Coffee even seems to have a significant protective influence on some diseases such as .B. cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes or dementia. Due to its invigorating effect and taste, it aroused people’s urge to explore at an early age. But it was only at the suggestion of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that the German chemist Ferdinand Runge isolated caffeine, probably the most important substance in coffee, for the first time in 1820.


Kidney function

Franz Kafka already said: “If coffee really dehydrates the body, I would have disintegrated into dust long ago”. It stimulates miction at very high amounts, but without, as is commonly assumed, draining water from the body. Thus, coffee does not have a dehydrating effect and is a significant contribution to the daily fluid requirement.


The cardiovascular system

A very small and short-term increase in blood pressure could only be detected in hypertonics. For non-hypertonics, coffee consumption of more than three cups per day shows no difference compared to one cup per day. According to recent studies, coffee is not a risk factor for atrial fluidity, coronary heart disease and stroke.


Diabetes Mellitus

A meta-analysis (the summary of various studies) in 2009 with data from nearly 500,000 subjects impressively shows an inversely proportional dose-response relationship in coffee drinkers regarding the incidence of diabetes mellitus type 2. Per cup of coffee consumed, the risk of illness decreases by seven percent purely mathematically. The mechanism of action is not yet known in detail and is part of further studies. A Dutch cohort

study of 17,000 participants showed a halved risk of diabetes when consuming more than seven cups of coffee a day.


Stomach, Intestines, Bile

The intestinal muscles are stimulated by the acids and bitter substances in the roasted coffee, which achieve a laxative effect. In a recent study conducted at the Heidelberg University Surgical Clinic, postoperative consumption after colon surgery found a gastrointestinal-stimulating effect compared to water. An increased risk of developing gastric or duodenalulcera is not detectable in various studies, even with high coffee consumption. A US study shows a significantly reduced risk of gallstones being formed when consuming at least four cups a day (risk reduction of 45% in men and 28% in women).



A recently published meta-analysis of 40 prospective cohort studies concluded that consumption has no harmful effect on health. Rather, carcinoma protection could be possible in the bladder, breast, oral cavity, pharynx, uterus, esophagus, liver (HCC), leukemia, prostate and mast/thickness. We assume that with this information we have brought you closer to the coffee and made you sympathetic without hesitation or made a few mistakes

+ posts

Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

Leave a Comment