Many men and women start their mornings with a cup of coffee each day, but you may wonder how your favorite beverage is impacting your health. With an estimated 62% of Americans drinking coffee every day, it is important to take a closer look at the effects coffee can have on your mind and body, especially when you are trying to conceive. Learn four ways coffee affects your health, including benefits like increased focus and energy, and potential fertility issues that can be counteracted with DHEA or CoQ10/ubiquinol fertility supplements for women. If you are on a fertility journey, manage your coffee consumption wisely.
1. Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Coffee contains several natural chemicals and minerals that can have beneficial health effects. These include magnesium, Vitamin B12 and beneficial polyphenols. Polyphenols protect tissues within the body by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. According to Harvard School of Public Health, drinking coffee can lower your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The risk for diabetes decreased by 12% for every two cups of coffee consumed.
Over time, coffee drinkers benefit from the magnesium and the polyphenols found in coffee. These elements improve the body’s insulin release system and increase the effectiveness of glucose metabolism. However, these benefits are only present when drinking coffee free from sugar, syrups and other additives.
2. Lower Your Risk for Cancer
Drinking coffee can lower your risk of developing several types of cancer. One study found that coffee drinkers reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by 26%. Coffee may also decrease the risk of developing liver, endometrial, throat and oral cancers. The mechanism by which coffee lowers your risk for certain cancers is complex. Researches suggest that it is a combination of how coffee stimulates and speeds up digestion, the anti-inflammatory and preparatory polyphenols in coffee and the decreased estrogen levels associated with coffee.
Caffeine’s ability to interfere with cancer cell growth and spread could also play a role in reducing the risk of cancer in coffee drinkers. Coffee’s cancer-fighting abilities may also come from the many beneficial elements in one cup of black coffee. These elements include niacin, potassium and magnesium, in addition to its helpful polyphenols like chlorogenic acid. Studies show that polyphenols benefit the cardiovascular system by regulating blood pressure and improving circulation.
3. Increase Your Risk of Infertility or Miscarriage
One of the adverse effects of coffee is an increased risk of infertility or miscarriage, especially in women who struggle with their reproductive health. The main reason for this association is caffeine, a psychoactive substance that works as a stimulant for the central nervous system. One cup of coffee, about 8 ounces, contains 75 to 100 milligrams of caffeine. For those not trying to become pregnant and women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding, the daily safe allowance of caffeine is about 400 milligrams. However, for women trying to conceive, the upper limit for caffeine consumption is only 200 milligrams per day. This equates to two small (6-8 ounce) cups of coffee per day.
This recommendation is lower because high caffeine intake is associated with low birth weight and pregnancy losses. One study found that 300 milligrams per day significantly increased the risk of SAB (spontaneous miscarriage), with a further increased risk when taking in 600 or more milligrams per day. Although the conclusion of this study states that no clear association was found between the risk to couples undergoing fertility treatment, such as women who are taking DHEA fertility supplements for women, it may be advisable to forgo coffee for those trying to conceive. It may also be an excellent option for the woman’s partner to begin researching men’s reproductive health options and learn how to better the chances of the couple conceiving.
4. Adversely Affects Heart Health
One of the naturally present compounds in coffee is diterpenes; namely, kahweol and cafestol. These compounds are found in the oil that is inside coffee beans. When the compounds are prepared a certain way, they have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol in some individuals.
With drip coffee, the filters used during the process prevent the ingestion of diterpenes. This means many coffee drinkers are not affected by this adverse health effect. However, coffee drinkers who prepare their coffee by boiling, such as with Scandinavian, Greek or Turkish preparation methods, will likely ingest a high amount since they pass directly into the liquid. Additionally, press coffee, prepared on a french press or plunger pot, will contain the same high level of diterpenes.
Another way that coffee may negatively affect heart health is through its stimulant effect. The caffeine present in coffee stimulates the central nervous system along with the circulatory system. High amounts of coffee, and therefore caffeine, can cause heart palpitations. This is only likely when individuals consume more than the recommended 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Surprisingly, some studies show that a moderate amount of coffee intake leads to better heart health. In one study of 37,514 women who drank just two to three cups of coffee per day, there was a 21% reduction in their risk of heart disease. An examination of the link between coffee consumption and death due to chronic illness also found that consuming roughly three cups of coffee per day reduced the chances of cardiovascular death by 21%, compared to those who did not drink any coffee.
The Health Effects of Coffee
As with many substances, the way coffee affects your health varies based on many factors. While it may reduce the risk of oral and throat cancer and Type 2 diabetes, too much can negatively impact a woman’s chances of getting pregnant after 35. How coffee affects you depends on how many cups you drink per day, what type of coffee you are drinking, and how you prepare your brew. If you stick to about two cups per day and limit the amount of creamer and sugar you take in with your coffee, you are likely to experience very few adverse health effects from your morning cup of joe.