Decaffeinated coffee: good or bad?



Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world.


Many people enjoy drinking coffee, but for some reason they want to limit their caffeine intake.


For these people, decaffeinated coffee is an excellent alternative.


Decaffeinated coffee is the same as regular coffee, except that caffeine has been eliminated.


This article analyzes in detail the decaffeinated coffee and its effects on health, both good and bad.


What is decaffeinated coffee and how is it made?


Decaffeinated is the abbreviation of decaffeinated coffee.


It is coffee beans that have been removed at least 97% of their caffeine.


There are many ways to eliminate caffeine from coffee beans. Most of them include water, organic solvents or carbon dioxide (1).


The coffee beans are washed in the solvent until the caffeine is extracted, then the solvent is removed.


The beans are decaffeinated before being roasted and ground. The nutritional value of decaffeinated coffee should be almost identical to regular coffee, apart from the caffeine content.


However, the taste and odor may become a little softer and the color may change, depending on the method used (1).


This can make decaffeinated coffee more pleasant for those who are sensitive to the bitter taste and smell of regular coffee.


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee beans are washed with solvents to remove 97% of the caffeine content before roasting. Apart from caffeine, the nutritional value of decaffeinated coffee should be almost identical to that of regular coffee.


How much caffeine is in decaffeinated coffee?


Decaffeinated coffee is do not Completely free of caffeine.


In fact, it contains varying amounts of caffeine, usually around 3 mg per cup (2).


One study found that each cup (6 oz or 180 ml) of decaffeinated coffee contained 0-7 mg of caffeine (3).


On the other hand, an average cup of regular coffee contains approximately 70-140 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee, the method of preparation and the size of the cup (4).


Therefore, even if decaffeination is not completely free of caffeine, the amount of caffeine is usually very small.


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee does not contain caffeine, since each cup contains approximately 0 to 7 mg. However, this is much less than the amount found in regular coffee.


Decaffeinated coffee is loaded with antioxidants and contains nutrients


Coffee is not the devil that has been made to be.


In fact, it is the largest source of antioxidants in the Western diet (5, 6, 7).


Decaffeinated generally contains similar amounts of antioxidants as regular coffee, although they can be up to 15% lower (8, 9, 10, 11).


This difference is probably caused by a small loss of antioxidants during the decaffeination process.


The main antioxidants in regular and decaffeinated coffee are hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols (1, 12).


Antioxidants are very effective in neutralizing reactive compounds called free radicals.


This reduces oxidative damage and can help prevent diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes (13, 14, 15, 16).


In addition to antioxidants, decaffeination also contains small amounts of some nutrients.


A cup of decaffeinated coffee prepared provides 2.4% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, 4.8% of potassium and 2.5% of niacin or vitamin B3 (1).


This may not seem like a lot of nutrients, but the amounts accumulate quickly if you drink 2-3 cups (or more) of coffee per day.


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee contains similar amounts of antioxidants like regular coffee. These mainly include chlorogenic acid and other polyphenols. Decaffeinated coffee also contains small amounts of various nutrients.


Health benefits of decaffeinated coffee


Despite having been demonized in the past, the truth is that coffee is good for you.


It is linked to numerous health benefits, which are attributed mainly to its content of antioxidants and other active substances.


However, the specific health effects of decaffeinated coffee can be difficult to determine.


This is because most studies evaluate coffee intake without distinguishing between regular and decaffeinated coffee, and some do not even include decaffeinated coffee.


In addition, most of these studies are observational. They can not prove that coffee caused The benefits, only that drinking coffee is associated with them.


Type 2 diabetes, liver function and premature death


Drinking coffee, both regular and decaffeinated, has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Each daily cup can reduce the risk up to 7% (17, 18, 19, 20, 21).


This suggests that other elements other than caffeine may be responsible for these protective effects (22).


The effects of decaffeinated coffee on liver function are not as studied as those of regular coffee. However, a large observational study linked decaffeinated coffee with reduced levels of liver enzymes, suggesting a protective effect (23).


Drinking decaffeinated coffee has also been linked to a small but significant reduction in the risk of premature death, as well as death from stroke or heart disease (24).


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also reduce the risk of premature death.


Aging and neurodegenerative diseases.


Both regular and decaffeinated coffee seem to have positive effects on mental deterioration related to age (25).


Studies in human cells also show that decaffeinated coffee can protect neurons in the brain. This could help prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (26, 27).


One study suggests that this may be due to chlorogenic acid in coffee, rather than to caffeine. However, caffeine itself has also been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases (26, 28, 29, 30).


Many studies show that people who drink regular coffee have a lower risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, but more studies on decaffeination are needed specifically.


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee can protect against mental deterioration related to age. It can also reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Reduced symptoms of heartburn and reduced risk of rectal cancer


A common side effect of drinking coffee is heartburn or acid reflux.


Many people experience this, and drinking decaffeinated coffee can alleviate this uncomfortable side effect. It has been shown that decaffeinated coffee causes significantly less acid reflux than regular coffee (31, 32).


Drinking two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee per day has also been linked to a 48% lower risk of developing rectal cancer (22, 33, 34).


Bottom line: Decaffeinated coffee causes significantly less acid reflux than regular coffee. Drinking more than two cups a day can also reduce the risk of rectal cancer.


Regular coffee has several advantages over decaffeination


Coffee is probably best known for its stimulant effects.


Increases alertness and reduces feelings of tiredness.


These effects are directly related to caffeine, which is found naturally in coffee.


Some of the beneficial effects of regular coffee are attributed directly to caffeine, so decaffeination should not have these effects.


Here are some benefits that probably only apply to regular coffee, not decaffeinated:



  • Improves mood, reaction time, memory and mental function (35, 36, 37).

  • Increase in metabolic rate and fat burning (38, 39, 40).

  • Improved athletic performance (41, 42, 43, 44).

  • Reduction of the risk of mild depression and suicidal thoughts in women (45, 46).

  • Much lower risk of liver cirrhosis or end-stage liver damage (47, 48, 49).


However, it is worth mentioning again that research on regular coffee is much more extensive than that available for decaffeination.


Bottom line: Regular coffee provides many health benefits that do not apply to decaffeination. These include better mental health, an increase in metabolic rate, better sports performance and a lower risk of liver damage.


Who should choose decaffeinated coffee in regular coffee?


There is a lot of individual variability when it comes to tolerance to caffeine.


For some people, one cup of coffee may be excessive, while for others it may be six or more cups.


Excess caffeine can overwhelm the central nervous system, cause restlessness, anxiety, digestive problems, cardiac arrhythmia or trouble sleeping in sensitive people.


People who are very sensitive to caffeine may want to limit their consumption of regular coffee, or switch to decaffeinated coffee or tea.


Those with certain medical conditions may also require diets with caffeine restriction. This includes patients who take prescription medications that may interact with caffeine (3).


In addition, pregnant and lactating women are advised to limit their caffeine intake. It is also recommended to children, adolescents and individuals suffering from anxiety or difficulty sleeping (50).


Bottom line: Decaffeinated can be a good alternative to regular coffee for people who are sensitive to caffeine. Pregnant women, adolescents, and people who take certain medications can also choose to decaffeinate instead of regular.


Bring the message home


Coffee is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet.


It is loaded with antioxidants and is linked to the reduced risk of all types of serious diseases.


However, not everyone can drink coffee, because caffeine can cause problems in some people.


For these people, decaffeination is an excellent way to enjoy coffee, except without the side effects of too much caffeine.


Decaffeinated has most of the same health benefits, but none of the side effects.



Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/decaf-coffee-good-or-bad






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