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Coffee & Health quarterly news bulletin

25th Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of the Coffee & Health quarterly news bulletin, a resource for healthcare professionals and media.

In this issue we highlight content on this quarter’s theme, Sports Performance, including new ISIC funded research with an accompanying video on the topic.

You can also stay up-to-date with abstracts from recent scientific papers published during the past quarter by reading ‘The Latest Research on Coffee and Health’ section.

Please feel free to forward the news bulletin to colleagues – they can click here to sign up themselves.


In this expert comment Dr Neil Clarke discusses whether coffee consumption can improve performance in trained athletes.


This quarter, research by Dr Neil Clarke, Principal Lecturer, School Of Life Sciences, Coventry University (UK) was published. The study investigated the effectiveness of coffee ingestion as an ergogenic aid prior to a one-mile race. In a double-blind, randomised, crossover, placebo-controlled design, 13 trained male runners completed a one-mile race, 60 minutes after the ingestion of coffee and decaffeinated coffee.

The results of the study found that drinking a large cup of coffee an hour before a one mile race enhanced performance times in trained male runners by 1.9%, which equated to approximately five seconds when compared with a placebo.

N Clarke et al, 2017. Coffee Ingestion Enhances One-Mile Running Race Performance, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, published online.


Following the publication of the research, ISIC filmed and published a video interview with Dr Neil Clarke. The video outlined the research, as well as summarised some commonly asked questions around coffee, caffeine and sports performance, including the effect on various types of exercise, potential mechanisms, and implications for professional and amateur athletes.   

In addition to the video, ISIC held media interviews with Dr Neil Clarke to discuss the research. Briefings were held with The Times, Daily Express and Runner’s World.

The study has been reported in publications across Europe including Daily Express, Today, Meteo Web, Diario Del Web, Beverfood, The Conversation and The i (print only).



Caffeine consumption and metabolism

A Nehlig reviewed factors such as age, sex and hormones, liver disease, obesity, smoking and diet and their effect on the metabolism, clearance and pharmacokinetics of caffeine. Genetic studies, including genome-wide association studies, identified several loci critically involved in caffeine consumption and its consequences on sleep, anxiety, and potentially in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Although more research is required to understand caffeine consumption and effects on body functions, this review provides a better picture of how a multiplicity of biologic mechanisms seem to drive levels of caffeine consumption and its effects on the body.

A Nehlig, 2018. Interindividual Differences in Caffeine Metabolism and Factors Driving Caffeine Consumption, Pharmacological Reviews, published online.

Read more on caffeine and health.

Coffee consumption and hypertension

C Xie et al performed a systematic review and dose-responsive meta-analysis of cohort studies to derive a more quantitatively precise estimation of the association between coffee consumption and hypertension risk. Eight articles were identified investigating the risk of hypertension with the level of coffee consumption, including 243,869 individuals and 58,094 incident cases of hypertension. The meta-analysis provided quantitative evidence that coffee consumption is inversely associated with the risk of hypertension in a dose-response manner.

C Xie et al, 2018. Coffee consumption and risk of hypertension: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies, Journal of Human Hypertension, published online.

Read more on coffee and blood pressure.

Caffeine consumption and workplace fatigue


In this systematic review and meta-analysis, J L Temple et al reviewed literature to determine the impact of caffeine as a countermeasure to fatigue in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and related shift workers. Although there were no studies that investigated caffeine use and its effects on EMS workers or on patient safety specifically, four of the eight studies identified that in general shift workers showed that caffeine improved psychomotor vigilance, which is important for performance in EMS personnel. The quality of evidence was judged to be low to moderate, however when taken together, these studies demonstrated that caffeine can improve psychomotor performance and vigilance. The meta-analysis concluded that more systematic, randomised studies need to be conducted in EMS personnel and patients and the risk/benefit ratio of chronic caffeine use in shift workers is currently unknown.

J L Temple et al, 2018. Systematic-Review and Meta-analysis of the Effects of Caffeine in Fatigued Shift Workers: Implications for Emergency Medical Services Personnel, Prehosp Emergency Care, published online.

Read more on caffeine, alertness and safety in daily-life situations.

Coffee consumption and sports performance

L M R Loureiro et al analysed the effect of coffee components on muscle glycogen metabolism. A literature search was conducted according to PRISMA and seven studies were included. They explored the effects of coffee components on various substances and signaling proteins. The findings from the review must be taken with caution due to the limited number of studies on the subject. However, in conclusion, various coffee components had a neutral or positive role in the metabolism of glucose and muscle glycogen, whilst no detrimental effect was described.

L M R Loureiro et al, 2018. Effects of Coffee Components on Muscle Glycogen Recovery: A Systematic Review, International Journal of Sport Nutition and Exercise Metabolism, published online.

Read more on coffee and sports performance.

Coffee consumption and cancer

A Lafranconi et al conducted a dose-response meta-analysis in order to summarise the evidence from prospective cohort studies, regarding the association between coffee intake and breast cancer risk. A total of 21 prospective studies were selected either for dose-response, the highest versus lowest category of consumption or subgroup analysis. The dose-response analysis of 13 prospective studies showed no significant association between coffee consumption and breast cancer risk in the non-linear model. However, an inverse relationship was found when the analysis was restricted to post-menopausal women. Consumption of four cups of coffee per day was associated with a 10% reduction in postmenopausal cancer risk and subgroup analyses showed consistent results for all potential confounding factors examined.

A Lafranconi et al, 2018. Coffee Intake Decreases Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis on Prospective Cohort Studies, Nutrients, Volume 10 (2).

Read more on coffee and breast cancer.

Coffee consumption and inflammation

In this meta-analysis of observational studies, Y Zhang & D Z Zhang aimed to examine the relationship between coffee consumption and serum C-reactive protein levels. A total of nine cross-sectional studies were included in the meta-analysis and the existing evidence suggested that coffee consumption was associated with a lower level of serum CRP. However, more well-designed prospective cohort studies are needed to elaborate the concerned issues further.

Y Zhang & D Z Zhang, 2018. Is Coffee Consumption Associated with a Lower Level of Serum C-reactive Protein? A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies, International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, published online.

Read more on coffee and health.

Coffee consumption and cardiovascular health

K Yamagata et al reviewed studies that have found that coffee polyphenols, such as chlorogenic acids, have many health-promoting properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and antihypertensive properties. They found results related to coffee consumption and the metabolic syndrome are heterogeneous among studies, and the mechanisms of its functions and corresponding molecular targets remain largely elusive. The meta-analysis explores the putative effects of coffee components, especially in protecting vascular endothelial function and preventing metabolic syndrome.

K Yamagata et al, 2018. Do Coffee Polyphenols Have a Preventive Action on Metabolic Syndrome Associated Endothelial Dysfunctions? An Assessment of the Current Evidence, Antioxidants (Basel) Volume 7 (2).

Read more on coffee and cardiovascular health.


In Q2 2018, ISIC will focus on the theme of coffee, caffeine and health and will:

  • Create a new website sub-topic on caffeine and metabolism
  • Create a caffeine and metabolism infographic
  • Update the bone health and GI function website topics
  • Update the ‘sources of caffeine’ infographic

For further updates, opt in to receive ISIC news alerts.

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ISIC the Institute for Scientific Research on Coffee 2018 ©

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