The Surprising Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Do you drink coffee daily? New research shows that there are benefits from caffeine on your cardiovascular and digestive systems.

High levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study from McMaster University showed that the amount of caffeine in 2-3 cups of coffee a day reduced LDL cholesterol. Consuming caffeine on a regular basis has also been linked to reduced blood levels of the PCSK9 protein. This protein helps the liver remove excess LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. The research has discovered the underlying mechanism as to how caffeine and its derivatives mitigate levels of blood PCSK9.

The researchers discovered that caffeine and its derivatives block a protein called SREBP2. When this happens, the protein PCSK9 is reduced. Current study results have shown that coffee and tea drinkers display a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This is the first time an explanation has been made as to why this is.

Because the protein SREBP2 is connected to cardiometabolic diseases, such as fatty liver and diabetes this discovery has many implications. They can now link caffeine to metabolism of cholesterol at a molecular level. In the process of the study they developed new caffeine derivatives that can greatly lower blood PCSK9 levels. This is very promising and could lead to new treatments for high LDL cholesterol levels.

In a new review of previous studies it is shown that drinking coffee can stimulate biliary, gastric and pancreatic secretions. This, in turn can influence the digestive process by aiding acid production in the stomach, pancreatic and bile secretion and colon motility.

After drinking coffee the first organs it comes into contact with are in the gastrointestinal tract. The findings show that coffee consumption of 3-5 cups a day did not generate any harmful effects. It is very interesting that the study also showed a reduced risk of gallstones and pancreatitis, although more research on this is needed.

As coffee travels down the gastrointestinal tract, its impact on gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions is necessary for digestion of food. It helps stimulate production of gastrin, a digestive hormone, and hydrochloric acid, which both help break down food. The secretion of a hormone that increases the production of bile, called cholecystokinin is also stimulated.

Another benefit of coffee consumption is changes to gut microbiota by improving the level of Bifidobacteria, which inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Colon motility is also improved. This is the process of food traveling through the digestive tract. The study found that it is stimulated 23% more than decaf coffee and 60% more than a glass of water and could reduce risk of chronic constipation. In some cases, drinking coffee produces a protective effect against constipation.

So drink a cup or two of coffee a day. It can be beneficial.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Caffeine blocks SREBP2-induced hepatic PCSK9 expression to enhance LDLR-mediated cholesterol clearance
Effects of Coffee on the Gastro-Intestinal Tract: A Narrative Review and Literature Update