Evidence Based

Coffee May Cause Inflammation

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

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Correlation or causation? People who drink a lot of coffee are more likely to have inflammation. Learn more about the relationship here.

Coffee May Cause Inflammation

Compared with coffee nondrinkers, people who consumed more than a cup of coffee/day had:

  • 50-54% higher interleukin 6 (IL-6) [1]
  • 28% higher TNF [1]
  • 30-38% higher C-reactive protein (CRP) [1]
  • 12-28% higher serum amyloid-A (SAA) [1]

The findings were significant even after controlling for age, sex, smoking, body mass index, physical activity status, and other covariates [1].

It can be argued that people with inflammation are more likely to drink coffee, but it’s widely enough consumed that I wouldn’t guess this to be the case, but it’s certainly possible – even though they controlled for important factors.

The effects on IL-6 seem to be confirmed in a randomized control trial in people with diabetes, which showed a similar 60% increase [2]. On the upside, they increased adiponectin, which is a generally good thing for people who are obese/diabetic.

Various studies show that people who drink the most coffee have a 23 – 67% lower risk of getting diabetes [3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

According to a review that looked at data from 18 studies with a total of 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes [8].

Coffee seems to also help lower the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s [9].

As far as the risk of death from all causes, coffee is associated with both slightly increased or decreased risk from death, depending on the dosage [10]. For example, in men, 5-7 cups per week increased death risk by 2%, while 2-3 cups per day decreased death risk by 3%. However, 6 cups and over decreased death risk by 20%. Risks in women were different, but a bit better.

Coffee has pros and cons. The research is mixed as to its effects. While coffee has a lot of benefits, but we shouldn’t gloss over the negatives.

Coffee isn’t good or bad, as it affects everyone differently. It didn’t work for me, but try it for yourself.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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