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Drinking coffee can reduce damaging inflammation in the body

Coffee beans contain substances that can reduce inflammation
Coffee beans contain substances that can reduce inflammation
Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images

Drinking coffee just might be good for you, according to some recent studies. Coffee contains substances such as polyphenols and anti-oxidants that may decrease not only the effects of aging but also reduce the inflammation that contributes to many diseases. If you don’t drink coffee, this is probably not a good reason to start drinking the beverage, but for those that already enjoy a cup or two a day this is good news that can put your mind at ease that you are not harming yourself with your morning habit- and that you may actually be improving your health.

Arguably, inflammation is one of the most insidious of problems in chronic illness. The swelling and pain of inflammation in the body is a vicious cycle whereby the disease process causes inflammation, the increased inflammation contributes to the chronic illness mechanism, which in turn causes worsening symptoms. Inflammation, which can be checked in simple blood tests such as one called C Reactive Protein, or CRP, is helpful in predicting serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Therefore, anything that can reduce inflammation can reduce the symptoms of chronic illnesses and may even act to help reverse some disease processes. And coffee appears to be one such substance. Several studies have shown that coffee can act to reduce inflammation, even if the coffee is decaffeinated. As a result studies have shown several markers of specific disease processes reduced in coffee drinkers. The study, 'Effects of coffee consumption on subclinical inflammation and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a clinical trial’ concluded, “Coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.” Another study, 'Coffee consumption and markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in healthy and diabetic women' concluded that "...the results suggest that coffee consumption is inversely associated with markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.", meaning that researchers had expected coffee to increase inflammation and raise the risk of heart disease when, much to their surprise, it actually decreased it!

While researchers are not recommending that you should start drinking coffee if you are not already a coffee drinker, the body of studies is beginning to show that if you happen to be a coffee drinker, you are at the very least not harming your health, and you may even be improving it with the mix of anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants that are present in your morning pick-me-up.