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It’s all in the cup (or two)


Jul. 7, 2022 Medical News Today

Coffee contains many beneficial compounds for health, including caffeine, diterpenes, and chlorogenic acid. 

Studies show that habitual coffee consumption is linked to the prevention of chronic and degenerative conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Caffeine, the most commonly studied compound in coffee, exerts positive effects on kidney function, and daily coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of chronic kidney disease. 

Although other compounds in coffee are less studied, compounds such as chlorogenic acid and trigonelline are known to reduce generalized inflammation and oxidative stress.

Knowing more about how coffee consumption affects the incidence of other kidney-related conditions could help policymakers take steps to reduce people’s risk of developing progressive kidney disease. 

Recently, researchers investigated the effects of coffee consumption on acute kidney injury (AKI), when the kidneys lose all or part of their function suddenly. 

AKI represents a public health problem with around 0.25% of the general population experiencing AKI, which rises to 18% among individuals who are hospitalized annually. 

From their analysis, the researchers found that higher coffee intake is linked to a lower risk of incident AKI. 

The study was published in Kidney International Reports.

The most beneficial amount of coffee 

For the study, the researchers used data from 14,207 adults ages 45 – 64 from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. 

The researchers assessed the participants’ coffee consumption during their first visit via a food frequency questionnaire. In total, they found:

  • 27% never drank coffee
  • 14% drank less than a cup of coffee per day
  • 19% drank 1 cup per day
  • 23% drank 2-3 cups per day 
  • 17% drank more than 3 cups per day 

To define acute kidney injury, the researchers looked at rates of hospitalization, including an International Classification of Diseases code indicating AKI throughout a median period of 24 years follow-up. They noted 1,694 cases of incident AKI during the follow-up period. 

After adjusting for demographic factors, they found that individuals who consumed any amount of coffee had an 11% lower risk of developing AKI compared to individuals who did not consume the beverage.

The researchers further noted a dose-dependent relationship between AKI and coffee intake, with those consuming 2-3 cups of coffee per day experiencing the most substantial risk reduction.

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