Mario Lombardi, Giancarlo Cruciani, Andrea Mazza, Lanfranco Luzi, Massimo Leggio


Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. Since coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant, coffee drinking is not generally considered to be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, and many misconceptions persist regarding the health-related effects of coffee. Because of coffee is a complex beverage containing many bioactive compounds, its biological effects may be substantial and are not limited to the actions of caffeine; consequently, the health effects of chronic coffee intake are wide ranging. Coffee consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity and depression, but it may adversely affect lipid profiles depending on how the beverage is prepared. A growing body of evidences suggests that habitual coffee consumption is neutral to beneficial regarding the risks of a variety of adverse cardiovascular outcomes including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke; moreover, large epidemiological studies suggest that regular coffee consumption reduces risks of both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. A daily intake of ~2–3 cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with neutral to beneficial effects for most of the studied health outcomes. Nevertheless, evidences on coffee’s health effects are largely based on observational data, with very few randomized, controlled studies, and association does not prove causation. Additionally, the possible advantages of regular coffee consumption must be weighed against potential risks, mostly related to its caffeine content, such as anxiety, insomnia, tremulousness, palpitations, bone loss and fractures.


Cardiovascular risk, coffee, caffeine.

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