A report by the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD) reveals the health benefits of coffee consumption

A new report by the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD), supported by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), has revealed that almost two-thirds (62%) of European dietitians believe drinking coffee in moderation has clear health benefits.

The dieticians agreed on the following benefits of coffee consumption:

  • 86% agreed that regular and moderate intake of coffee improves alertness
  • 67% said that coffee consumption is associated with an improvement in overall sports performance

However, gaps in knowledge were identified regarding the associations between coffee intake and key non-communicable diseases.

Benefits of coffee from a healthcare perspective

585 dietitians from across 26 European countries completed the study.

All dieticians involved had direct contact with patients and clients and provided new insights on current awareness and attitudes to coffee consumption from a healthcare perspective.

Two women sat round table smiling and drinking coffee
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Emerging research into coffee’s prospective role in health has suggested a possible ‘protective effect’ concerning several non-communicable diseases, particularly those with an inflammatory component.

Whilst a detailed understanding of the exact association remains unclear, coffee continues to be an important consideration for healthcare professionals when considering aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Key insights from the survey of European dietitians

  • 62% of dieticians believe that moderate coffee consumption has some clear health benefits, but the potential associations between coffee consumption and health are not widely known by the general public.
  • 62% of dietitians surveyed acknowledged a positive association with aspects of mental and physical performance, including improved alertness (86%), improved mood (61%), and improvement in overall sports performance (69%).
  • 51% of those surveyed agreed that coffee might be beneficial before exercise.
  • The associations between coffee intake and key non-communicable diseases are not as well known, with only 36% positively associating moderate coffee consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), 30% with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and 42% with a reduced risk of neurodegenerative conditions. This contrasts the weight of scientific evidence that suggests potential beneficial effects across all three disease areas.
  • Caution in the level of consumption was observed in some populations, including those living with GI disorders (54%).
  • Current research in relation to GI disorders shows no association between coffee intake and a number of gastric complaints.
  • Further research also suggests the polyphenols present in coffee may induce positive changes in the composition of the ‘good bacteria’ that support the immune system.


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