It’s a no-brainer: coffee is great, but it can also be bad for your health.
A new study from Australian researchers found that the components of the coffee bean are so good at promoting the growth of certain bacteria that the bacteria can contribute to conditions like urinary tract infections and heart attacks.
The findings, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, were based on a study of 2,000 people who had coffee and 7,000 who didn’t, with researchers using a variety of laboratory tests.
They found that while drinking coffee is good for you, it’s also bad for you if you eat the beans, or if you consume them in the same way as other processed foods.
“If you are consuming coffee, that’s a very, very good thing,” Dr Michael O’Connor, a researcher from the University of Queensland’s Institute of Food Science and Technology and one of the study’s authors, told The Australian Financial Report.
“We know that it helps you digest it.
But if you’re consuming it at a high enough level, the bacteria in your gut become active and you get a problem.”
O’Conner said the study is not conclusive but it does show that at the highest levels of consumption, the components in the coffee beans can cause problems.
The researchers found the bacterium, called Prevotella species, was more active in the gut of people who drank more than 30 cups of coffee a day.
“The coffee itself had a very significant effect on the bacteria activity in the human gut, which means that the people who were drinking the most coffee tended to have higher levels of the bacteria,” he said.
“It’s not that there was a lot of coffee in the cups, but the bacteria were active in those cups and it made a difference in the bacteria’s activity.”
Researchers also found that coffee drinking increased the risk of developing urinary tract infection, but only among those who were at high risk of UTIs.
This is because the bacteria produce a hormone called prostaglandin E2 that can stimulate the immune system to attack UTIs in the bladder.
“So that leads to a very high risk, which is why people should not drink coffee at the same level they drink other foods,” O’Cullen said.
The study was part of a project funded by the Australian Government’s Healthy Life in 2030, a $300 million national health investment.
Dr Michael Cockerham, the project’s lead scientist, said the findings suggest that “the high coffee consumption can lead to a significant amount of inflammation and other problems in the body”.
“We’re also finding that drinking coffee can increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions,” he told The ABC.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind that these are the same people that are going to be drinking coffee as they are eating, so you can’t just take these two different effects together and say that it is the same thing.”
The study found that people who regularly consumed at least 30 cups a day were three times more likely to develop UTIs than people who only drank one cup.
People who were already experiencing health problems were more likely than people not drinking coffee to develop serious conditions like UTIs, heart disease and diabetes.
But Dr O’ Connor said the research was “not conclusive” and that further research was needed to confirm its results.
He said that while he did not believe that coffee consumption was causing UTIs or other health problems, he did think it was an important topic for further research.
The Australian Research Council, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Medical Association also supported the study.
They have not commented on the study and could not be reached for comment.
“People need to make sure they’re consuming coffee correctly and that they’re not consuming it as part of the typical routine, so that they can have the most benefit from the coffee they’re drinking,” Dr OConnor said.
For more information, visit www.healthimpact.gov.au/health/australian-study-shows-coffee-and-other-foods-can-contribute-to-the-growth-of-bacteria.