Planta Med 2017; 83(16): 1256-1263
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-115007
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Impact of Coffee on Health

Karen Nieber
University of Leipzig, Institute of Pharmacy, Leipzig
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 27 April 2017
revised 29 May 2017

accepted 20 June 2017

Publication Date:
04 July 2017 (online)


Coffee is one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages worldwide due to its stimulating effects on the central nervous system as well as its taste and aroma. Coffee is a complex mixture of more than 800 volatile compounds whereas caffeine and chlorogenic acids are the most common compounds. During the last years, coffee has progressively moved to a less negative position on health due to its better-known pharmacology. Caffeine, e.g., in a cup of coffee, appears to exert most of its effects through an antagonism of the adenosine receptors. Novel approaches in epidemiological studies and experimental researches suggest that coffee consumption may help to prevent several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus and liver disease. Most prospective cohort studies have not found coffee consumption to be associated with a significantly increased cardiovascular disease risk. There is also evidence that decaffeinated coffee may, in some respect, have similar benefits as regular coffee, indicating that besides caffeine other components contribute to the health protecting effects. For adults consuming moderate amounts of coffee (3 – 4 cups/d providing 300 – 400 mg/d of caffeine), there is little evidence of health risks and some evidence of health benefits. This review provides up-to-date information about coffee on health. Topics addressed include the cardiovascular system, liver diseases, and diabetes as well as gastrointestinal disorders.