Although there are many health benefits, there are also many negative side effects of coffee. There is evidence to suggest that coffee has its benefits when taken occasionally, but when taken daily for a prolonged period of time the benefits of the caffeine go unnoticed. Therefore, coffee consumption should be kept in moderation in order to avoid these negative side effects.
Coffee contains significant amounts of caffeine, which is a highly addictive stimulant that can cause severe withdrawal symptoms in cases when the coffee is stopped. The more coffee that is regularly consumed, the worse the symptoms are and the longer they will last. The most common symptoms include headaches, mood swings and depression.
Coffee taken too late in the afternoon or evening will make it difficult for the individual to fall asleep. Therefore, the drink should only be limited to the morning hours in order to avoid a sleep disturbance.
Although coffee can help to overcome fatigue momentarily; prolonged use, or excess amounts of it can have adverse effects and lead to fatigue. The fatigue can be both physical and mental fatigue, resulting in a poor memory and a loss of concentration.
Coffee can also cause the heartbeat to increase. The severity of this negative side effect depends on how much the individual is able to tolerate. Therefore, some might be able to handle a few cups before the heart beat increases, while others may see an increase after only one cup.
Coffee has been shown to increase the low-density lipoprotein, which is the bad cholesterol. High cholesterol is widely known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems.
Weakens the Immune System
Coffee contains substances that suppress the immune system so that it is unable to fight diseases as it should. A strong immune system is essential in order to be able to fight off many types of diseases and common ailments, such as the common cold, flu, allergies, and many others.
Coffee contributes to an acidic environment in the body, which ultimately wears down the immune system, and increases the risk for candida and other parasites to grow. Therefore, those with any kind of parasite or yeast infection should avoid caffeine until the problem has been corrected.
The stimulant effect of coffee, or any other stimulant, such as sodas, alcohol and cigarettes can contribute to hyperthyroidism, or aggravate the symptoms. Those on thyroid medications should check with their doctors before consuming coffee as it can also interfere with the medications.
Drinking four or more cups of coffee per day increases the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is due to a substance in the coffee that increases the production of the rheumatoid factor.
Medical studies have found a direct link between osteoporosis and regular consumption of coffee. This is because the coffee hinders the absorption of calcium in the digestive tract.
Coffee can also lead to an iron deficiency. Iron supports the brain and muscle cells, and thus a defiency can result in physical and mental fatigue.
A study done in 2003 showed that pregnant women who consumed a large amount of coffee on a daily basis were at a higher risk for losing their unborn.
Increase Intraocular Pressure
There are some suggestions that coffee might increase the pressure of the fluids in the eyes.
Damaged Intestinal Tract
Coffee is highly acidic, which potentially can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, and lead to ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
The high amounts of acids within the caffeine have been shown to contribute to the erosion of the enamel. In addition, coffee also stains the teeth which then requires whitening.
Excess amounts of coffee for a prolonged period of time can increase the caffeine tolerance. However, in some cases it can also interfere with the way that the coffee is metabolized and cause the caffeine to build up in the body. As a result, the caffeine gets absorbed into the organs and causes the individual to suffer allergic reactions.