What’s the Verdict on Coffee?

As a coffee loving ND, I understand the enjoyment in having a cup of java in the morning. The good news is there are some health benefits associated with coffee consumption…but there are some down sides too! Read on to learn some of the ups and downs of coffee:


  • From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, black coffee is bitter which is stimulating to the digestive system including the liver.
  • Improves performance in endurance athletes.
  • Associated with decreased risk of
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Depression
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Most of these benefits are believed to be due to the high concentration of anti-oxidants found in coffee


  • Is an addictive stimulant.
  • May impact cardiovascular health but the results are conflicting. Some evidence of increased blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.
  • Disrupts your sleep cycle, particularly if you consume it in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Unfiltered coffees including espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and any coffee beverages made using a French press are linked with increased cholesterol levels, so you will want to limit those, especially if you already suffer from high cholesterol.

Bottom line: In moderation, coffee consumption seems to be ok. So if you drink coffee, limit your intake to a couple of cups a day (and I am talking in terms of a measured “cup”, not a Venti!) and choose paper filtered coffees more often, without milk, cream or sugar. Of course women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume caffeinated beverages.