Why scientists are encouraging people to drink more coffee

The promise of strong bones meant something very different to us as children. We thought obtaining the physique of our favorite superhero was as simple as drinking as much milk as possible. Turns out, we were wrong about the prize and the best way to achieve it.

According to a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, there is a robust association between habitual coffee consumption and the prevention of bone fracturing later in life and the development of metabolic illnesses. In other words, more coffee for everyone!

Coffee, coffee, coffee

“Inconsistent associations between coffee consumption and bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed in epidemiological studies. Moreover, the relationship of bioactive components in coffee with BMD has not been studied. The aim of the current study is to identify coffee-associated metabolites and evaluate their association with BMD,” the authors wrote in the report.

In actuality, bone strength refers to mineral density. The amount of minerals present in bone tissue is a strong correlate of several metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis, rickets, osteomalacia, osteogenesis imperfecta, and fibrous dysplasia.

For many years research has been suppressed by a long-standing (and anecdotal) assumption that caffeine poses a negative effect on calcium absorption. Scholarly inspection concluded this impact to be a fractional one.

“There is no evidence that caffeine has any harmful effect on bone status or on the calcium economy in individuals who ingest the currently recommended daily allowances of calcium.” celebrated osteology expert,  Dr. Robert Heaney wrote back in 2002.

Coffee Consumption and its Association with Bone Mineral Density

The Hong Kong University researchers began their analysis with 564  healthy community-dwelling adults previously involved in an osteoporosis study from a few years back. The participants were tasked with documenting the frequency of their coffee consumption in the followup examination logged in November of last year. 

Twelve serum metabolites important to bone mineral density were significantly more concentrated among regular coffee drinkers—three molecules (quinate, 3-hydroxypyridine sulfate, and trigonelline) evidenced particular relevance to the study’s premise.

“Among these metabolites, 11 known metabolites were previously identified to be associated with coffee intake and 6 of them were related to caffeine metabolism. Habitual coffee intake was positively and significantly associated with BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck,” the authors continued.

The health benefits linked to coffee consumption are almost all preventive in nature. The abundance of anti-oxidants contained in a single serving effectively disarms free-radicals which in turn delays many of the physical markers of the ageing process. These very same agents have been confirmed to be instrumental measures against cavities, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and various forms of cancer.

A study conducted back in 2018 that used mouse models determined that drinking four shots of espresso a day boosts heart health by reinvigorating important proteins and cardiovascular cells.

“For all those folks who drink lots of coffee and are concerned about the health effects of coffee, this is good news,” Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Chad Deal, who was not directly involved in the study, said in a press release. “It appears to show that coffee is, in general, probably good for bone health.” 

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