Coffee: How it may impact gut health

Coffee…I don’t think there is any beverage that has brewed so much controversy (Pun intended!). If you are health conscious individual, you may have at one point tried to do some research on whether coffee is good or bad for you. Good luck on figuring it out! There are studies and research on both sides of the fence.

 

I don’t necessarily want to make a conclusive statement about whether coffee is all good or all bad for you, but I do want to make one thing clear. The caffeine in coffee DOES have an effect on your hormones, and that’s my area of concern as a hormone health authority in integrative medicine.  Here are a few things to note:

  • Caffeine increases catecholamines (stress hormones) and this elicits cortisol and increases insulin (a hormone). Insulin increases inflammation. Chronic inflammation is devastating to your health with a whole host of diseases stemming from it!
  • Habitual caffeine consumption decreases insulin sensitivity, making it tough for your cells to react appropriately to blood sugar. Ups and downs of blood sugar are very detrimental to your health. In fact, whole books have been written about how to restore health just by eating to balance blood sugars.
  • Coffee drinkers can be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels.
  • Caffeine alters estrogen levels in women. Is that good or bad? Well, it depends on your estrogen levels. If you are estrogen dominate and it elevates your estrogen, it’s definitely bad.

A few other points to ponder:

  • Many regular coffee drinkers tend to add to the drink things like sugar or artificial sweeteners. Not a good thing in and of itself.
  • Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it dehydrates. Again, not a good thing.
  • Be sure to choose organic coffee to cut the amount of pesticides you ingest with each cup!
  • Enjoy the beverage in moderation. And no, a pot a day is not moderation!
  • If you find that you can’t function in the morning unless you have coffee, recognize it as a sign that you may have hormonal problems like adrenal fatigue. If you NEED coffee to function, you have a possible addiction and health problem.

So while I do believe that coffee does have some health benefits (if it’s from a good source/organic), recognize that caffeine is NOT a necessary food or fluid replenisher. Although coffee contains antioxidants, it is not a good substitute for a diet rich in whole foods, fruits, vegetables, clean water, etc.

If your health is going to pot (Again, pun intended!) and you suspect your hormones are involved with your symptoms, give is a call today.

You can also attend our upcoming event on Gut Health on Wednesday June 17th.  It will be at 6 PM.  Please call our office for more details or if you have any questions.

Ph: 563.355.7411