Coffee is one of the world’s favourite beverages, and its popularity has spurred interest in the various effects it has on health. However, it seems that coffee’s relationship to health may be a complex one.
As most people know, the active chemical in coffee is caffeine, which produces various effects, including stimulating the mind and body, increasing blood pressure, and having a diuretic effect on the urinary tract. But does this mean that coffee affects the Kidneys? Well, the short answer is yes, but it might not be as simple as you think.
Some people are more prone to the development of kidney stones, and oxalate stones are one of the most common varieties that people develop. Coffee and black tea are among the primary sources of oxalate, so people with this condition should be wary of their intake.
There is mixed evidence regarding coffees association with kidney cancer. Some studies have shown a reduced risk of renal cell carcinoma, while this study mostly seems true with caffeinated coffee.
Decaffeinated coffee, however, has been linked to an increase in clear renal cell carcinoma subtypes. Despite these associations, more research needs to be conducted to form a conclusive picture.
For a while, coffee was considered potentially detrimental to the Kidneys. However, the relationship may be more complex than originally thought. There have been numerous recent studies on the correlation between coffee consumption and kidney disease, such as a 2008 study performed in Korea that analysed the habits of 2600 women, which showed a decrease in the prevalence of kidney disease.
Another study looked specifically at the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, where a lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease was found in coffee-growing villages. A 2016 meta-analysis found no association between increased coffee intake and kidney disease in males, and in females, there was a possible reduced risk.
So it seems, contrary to prior thought, that coffee may play a protective role in kidney disease. However, the effectiveness and mechanism are not fully understood. Some believe that the antioxidant effects of coffee may play a part.
Therefore, patients with kidney stones, especially those with calcium oxalate stones, should still regard coffee as a possible risk factor.
High blood pressure can be a big factor in developing kidney disease. It’s only second to diabetes in risk factor. There is some evidence that caffeine-containing coffee causes a momentary spike in blood pressure. However, it is thought that these effects are exaggerated in older patients not accustomed to the impact and those with a history of high blood pressure.
Due to this correlation, some believe excess coffee consumption may be detrimental to kidney health, especially in sensitive individuals. Despite this, most data shows that there is a minimal risk as long as coffee consumption remains below four cups daily.
If you are concerned about coffee’s effects on your kidneys, make sure to moderate your consumption over the day and be sure to contact your urology specialist.
If you have any questions regarding kidney health or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact Dr Arianayagam’s office or call on 1300 307 990, and his staff will be more than happy to assist.
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