With over 2 billion cups of coffee being enjoyed every day around the world, emerging research into its potential role in health has suggested a potential ‘protective effect’ on many non-communicable diseases, particularly those with an inflammatory component. .
While a detailed understanding of the exact association remains unclear, coffee is an important consideration for health professionals when considering aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
European dietician’s thoughts on coffee and health
Most dietitians (62%) agree that moderate coffee consumption has some clear health benefits, but the potential relationship between coffee consumption and health is not widely known by the general public.
Coffee remains a popular beverage throughout Europe, with 43% of patients reporting consumption of 3 cups per day and 3–5 cups per day, respectively, intake levels that are in line with current European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommendations.
62% of dietitians surveyed acknowledged a positive association with aspects of mental and physical performance including improved alertness (86%), improved mood (61%), improved overall sports performance (69%), and agreed that coffee may be beneficial before exercise (51%). These findings reflect a previous ISIC consumer survey conducted during the 2020 lockdown.
The association between coffee consumption and major non-communicable diseases is not well known, with only 36% positively associating moderate coffee consumption with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), 30% with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. with increased risk, and 42% with a reduced risk of neurodegenerative conditions.
This is in contrast to the weight of scientific evidence that suggests potential beneficial effects in all three disease areas. Caution was observed in consumption levels in some populations, including those living with GI disorders (54%).
Current research related to GI disorders shows no association between coffee intake and multiple gastric complaints. Further research also suggests that the polyphenols in coffee may lead to positive changes in the composition of ‘good bacteria that support the immune system’.
With European dieticians confirming that moderate coffee consumption has health benefits, consumers of one of the world’s most popular beverages can rest assured knowing that it has the approval of most dietitians.