Does coffee offer health benefits?

Answer From Donald Hensrud, M.D.

While past studies hinted that coffee might have a dark side, newer research suggests that it may actually have health benefits.

Why the reversal? It's hard to look at just one aspect of diet and connect it to a health condition because so many other factors that could play a role. For example, early research on coffee didn't always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to use tobacco and be sedentary.

When newer studies adjusted for such factors, they found a possible association between coffee and decreased mortality. Coffee may offer some protection against:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver disease, including liver cancer
  • Heart attack and stroke

Coffee still has potential risks, mostly due to its high caffeine content. For example, it can temporarily raise blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding need to be cautious about caffeine. High intake of boiled, unfiltered coffee has been associated with mild increase in cholesterol levels.

The bottom line? Your coffee habit is probably fine and may even have some benefits. But if you have side effects from coffee, such as heartburn, nervousness or insomnia, consider cutting back.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Feb. 26, 2020 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. MIND diet may cut Alzheimer's risk
  2. 3 diet changes women over 50 should make right now
  3. 3 key changes in the new Nutrition Facts label
  4. Healthy-eating habits
  5. Reduce sugar in your diet
  6. Acai berries
  7. Added sugar
  8. Alcohol use
  9. Alkaline water
  10. Are energy drinks bull?
  11. Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes
  12. Autism spectrum disorder and digestive symptoms
  13. Bad food habits at work? Get back on track in 5 steps
  14. Best oil for cooking?
  15. Dietary guidelines
  16. Breast-feeding nutrition: Tips for moms
  17. Caffeine: How much is too much?
  18. Is caffeine dehydrating?
  19. Calorie calculator
  20. The role of diet and exercise in preventing Alzheimer's disease
  21. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  22. Carbohydrates
  23. Chart of high-fiber foods
  24. Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers
  25. Coconut water: Is it super hydrating?
  26. Diet soda: How much is too much?
  27. Dietary fats
  28. Dietary fiber
  29. Prickly pear cactus
  30. Does soy really affect breast cancer risk?
  31. Don't get tricked by these 3 heart-health myths
  32. Don't go cuckoo for coconut water
  33. Make healthy snack choices
  34. Eat more of these key nutrients
  35. Eggs: Bad for cholesterol?
  36. Energy drinks
  37. Fiber: Soluble or insoluble?
  38. Fish and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  39. Fit more fiber into your diet
  40. Get to know the new Nutrition Facts label
  41. Grape juice health benefits
  42. Guidelines for a good ileostomy diet
  43. Is chocolate healthy?
  44. Healthy-eating tip: Don't forget fiber
  45. Hidden sources of sodium
  46. High-fructose corn syrup
  47. High-protein diets
  48. Alcohol during the holidays: 4 ways to sip smarter
  49. How the right diet can help an overactive bladder
  50. How to track saturated fat
  51. Takeout containers
  52. Is there more to hydration than water?
  53. Juicing is no substitute for whole foods
  54. Juicing
  55. Limit bad fats, one step at a time
  56. Make food labels required reading
  57. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  58. MUFAs
  59. Multigrain vs. whole grain
  60. Need a snack? Go nuts!
  61. Need more fiber? Take 3 steps
  62. Nutrition rules that will fuel your workout
  63. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  64. Omega-3 in fish
  65. Omega-6 fatty acids
  66. Phenylalanine
  67. Play it safe when taking food to a loved one in the hospital
  68. Protein: Heart-healthy sources
  69. Reduce sugar in your diet
  70. Health foods
  71. Portion control
  72. Planning healthy meals
  73. High-fiber diet
  74. Social eating can be healthy and enjoyable
  75. Sodium
  76. Step away from the saltshaker
  77. Stevia
  78. Tap water or bottled water: Which is better?
  79. Taurine in energy drinks
  80. The best foods for healthy skin
  81. Time to cut back on caffeine?
  82. Trans fat
  83. Underweight: Add pounds healthfully
  84. Want a healthier dinnertime? Science says change your eating space
  85. Daily water requirement
  86. Functional foods
  87. What is clean eating?
  88. What's considered moderate alcohol use?
  89. What's the difference between juicing and blending?
  90. Why does diet matter after bariatric surgery?
  91. Working out? Remember to drink up
  92. Yerba mate