17th Edition - 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Coffee & Health quarterly news bulletin.

In this issue you will find spotlights on specific subject areas: Coffee and a Healthy Diet, Liver Function, and Coffee, Caffeine and Sleep. These cover the latest science, media articles and ISIC activity as appropriate. You can also stay up-to-date with additional scientific papers from Q1 by reading ‘The Latest Research on Coffee and Health’ section.

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EXPERT COMMENT – Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition and Chair of Board of Studies, Food & Human Nutrition BSc at Newcastle University, UK

Professor Seal’s research interests include the effect of diet on health and disease, with a particular focus on the role of wholegrain foods, fruits and vegetables in cardiovascular disease prevention, and the effects of diet on antioxidant status. Read Professor Seal’s expert comment on ISIC’s Coffee and a Healthy Diet roundtable.


After conducting consumer research with over 4,000 people across 10 European countries to understand their beliefs, behaviours, and knowledge regarding a healthy diet, ISIC invited three eminent European experts from France, Spain and the UK to join a virtual roundtable. The panel reviewed the findings and discussed the latest scientific research on coffee and health, consumers’ knowledge and attitudes, and the role of healthcare professionals in disseminating healthy diet advice. An infographic reflecting the consumer research findings is available on the Coffee & Health website, as is the roundtable report.

Coverage of the roundtable appeared in publications such as City AM, Nutrition Insight, Medical Daily, MSN.

On 15th March ISIC engaged with healthcare professionals and academics via a Twitter Q&A. The Q&A addressed commonly-asked questions on coffee and health, shared scientific research and ISIC resources, and provided an opportunity for the community to connect with peers. Approximately 58,000 accounts were reached during the Q&A, with core engagement seen from German, British, French, Irish and Spanish users.


The European Association for the Study of the Liver estimates that 29 million people suffer from a chronic liver condition in Europe, and data suggests that there are 170,000 deaths per year attributed to liver cirrhosis.

O J Kennedy et al published a new systematic review with meta-analysis of nine studies involving 1,990 cases and 432,133 participants. Findings suggest that increasing coffee consumption may substantially reduce the risk of cirrhosis.
O J Kennedy et al. 2016. Systematic review with meta-analysis: coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, published online ahead of print.
Read the abstract.

A systematic review with meta-analysis by H Shen et al assessed the association between caffeine consumption and prevalence or hepatic fibrosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in observational studies. The conclusion suggests that regular caffeine consumption from coffee may significantly reduce hepatic fibrosis in patients with NAFLD.
H Shen et al. 2016. Association between caffeine consumption and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, Volume 9 (1).
Read the abstract.

A study by K Friedrich et al investigated coffee consumption as a therapeutic option to treat progression of end-stage liver disease or improve long-term survival after liver transplantation. Findings suggest coffee consumption protects against progression in liver cirrhosis and increases long-term survival after liver transplantation.
K Friedrich et al. 2016. Coffee consumption protects against progression in liver cirrhosis and increases long term survival after liver transplantation. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, published online ahead of print.
Read the abstract.

The popularity of coffee as an everyday beverage and significance of cirrhosis in Europe meant the findings of the O J Kennedy et al study in particular generated widespread coverage. Coverage included: Daily Mail, Daily Express, Blick, Medical News Today, Quotidiano Di Sicilia, Eizvestia News, Antena 3, La Depeche, and Nordjyske.

A short animated presentation summarising the existing body of research on coffee consumption and liver function is available on the Coffee & Health website.


Published online in January, a new systematic review by I Clark and H P Landolt examined the results of 58 peer-reviewed epidemiological studies and clinical trials into the effects of caffeine and coffee on sleep, and found that caffeine intake can affect sleep quality, although individuals will respond differently to caffeine based on factors including genetic variation.

The study found no link between coffee consumption and negative health implications, but recommends areas for further research into caffeine and sleep, such as investigation into how and why an individual’s genetics could predispose them to caffeine-induced sleep changes.
I Clark and H P Landolt. 2016. Coffee, Caffeine and Sleep: A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Studies and Randomized Controlled Trials. Sleep Medicine Reviews, published online ahead of print.
Read the abstract and ISIC’s accompanying news alert.

The subject of coffee consumption and sleep attracts a high level of interest in the media. Articles on the subject published this quarter include: The Guardian, The Conversation, Bild, Kurier, Santé Plus Magazine, E-Thessalia, Gazete Vatan, Direct Matin, and Brigitte.


We regularly publish abstracts of the latest research papers on coffee and health, so you can see at a glance what's new in this area. If you haven’t had the chance to catch up with the latest research, you can find these on the Coffee & Health website. You can also view these abstracts by topic, as well as by date.

Further studies to note from this quarter include:

Coffee, caffeine and cutaneous melanoma risk

A meta-analysis assessed the associations between consumption of total coffee, caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee and the risk of cutaneous melanoma, respectively. The results suggest that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of cutaneous melanoma.
J Wang et al. 2015. Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma: A Meta-Analysis. European Journal of Nutrition, published online ahead of print.
Read more about coffee and skin cancer.

Coffee consumption and urinary symptoms

In a double-blind parallel study, researchers investigated the effects of regular and decaffeinated coffee consumption on urinary symptoms among low and frequent coffee drinkers who were young and healthy. Findings suggest that avoiding high-dosage coffee consumption prevents urgency and frequency, which supports recommendations to limit caffeinated beverages.
A Staack et al. 2015. Prospective Study on the Effects of Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee on Urinary Symptoms in Young and Healthy Volunteers. Neurology and Urodynamics, published online ahead of print.
Find further information on coffee consumption and fluid balance.

Coffee consumption and stroke risk

A review summarizing scientific evidence on lifestyle modifications and stroke risk suggests that coffee consumption may lower overall stroke risk. Results showed a J-shaped association between coffee consumption and cardiovascular risk, with lowest risk at 3-5 cups a day.
M Niewada and P Michel. 2016. Lifestyle modification for stroke prevention: facts and fiction. Current Opinions in Neurology, Volume 29.
Read more about coffee consumption and stroke risk.

Coffee consumption and cataract blindness

This study suggests a correlation between coffee drinking and incidence of cataract blindness in humans, with incidence of cataract blindness being significantly lower in groups consuming higher amounts of coffee in comparison to those with lower coffee intake.
S D Varma. 2016. Effect of coffee (caffeine) against human cataract blindness. Clinical Opthalmology, Volume 10.
Find out more about coffee and your health.

Coffee consumption and malignant melanoma risk

A systematic review and meta-analysis suggests caffeinated coffee may have a protective effect against the risk of malignant melanoma, although the same results were not seen for decaffeinated coffee. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
J Liu et al. 2016. Higher Caffeinated Coffee Intake is Associated with Reduced Malignant Melanoma Risk: A Meta-Analysis Study. PLoS One, 11, published online ahead of print.
Read more about coffee and skin cancer.


In Q2 2016, ISIC will focus its activity on coffee and mental performance and will:
  • Publish a full topic update on the Coffee & Health website, incorporating a revised subtopic on sleep.
  • Host a virtual expert roundtable to discuss and debate the role coffee plays in sleep quality.
  • Publish the sleep roundtable report and audio highlights on the Coffee & Health website.
  • Launch a new animated video looking at coffee’s effect on the brain and the implications for sleep and alertness.
For further updates, opt in to receive ISIC news alerts.

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ISIC the Institute for Scientific Research on Coffee 2016 ©

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