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Drink Coffee : Healthy or Risk ?

effect of the coffee in the development of liver carcinomas [1-4]. Larsson and Wolk (2007) estimate that the ingestion of two cups of coffee a day is enough to reduce the risk of liver cancer, decreasing approximately 43% of these risks. However, these authors still argue that in people infected with hepatitis C a reasonable statistic is not observed, not allowing the association of a reduced risk of this cancer with coffee consumption.

So, it seems reasonable to assume that the protective properties of coffee, considering the hepatic carcinoma, depends on variables ranging from the type of liver cancer and the clinical condition of the patient, to the personal characteristics and habits of life [3]. However, more consistent researchs is needed, since there are a lot of possible substances responsible for the inverse association between coffee and liver carcinoma.

The relation of coffee with cirrhosis is based mainly on studies in which such pathology is caused by alcohol abuse, regardless of the measure of this disease. From this perspective, Gelatti et al. (2005) have observed in different Caucasian populations the relationship between coffee consumption and the enzyme gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT).

The coffee was efficient to inhibit the induction of GGT, protecting the liver cells from damage induced by alcohol intake. Based on this fact, coffee was able to reduce the risk of cirrhosis. Data from literature reinforce the inverse association between coffee consumption and serum levels of liver enzymes, including the GGT, which is an indicator of cirrhosis risk, and the alanine aminotransferase, a marker of liver injury. Both enzymes are associated with the risk of chronic liver disease and the development of cirrhosis .

The coffee has also been the object of study taking into account the development of cardiovascular disease [1, 7-9]. This relationship can be assigned due to the association with elevated blood pressure, without the development of hypertension. On the other hand, this is not valid for people who have a predisposition to this clinical condition, including some risk factors . The genetic influence of coffee on human body, considering the amount consumed, is an important factor due to the cardiovascular problems.

Both the regular and irregular users may exhibit the same caffeine plasma levels. However, the irregular consumer presents an unusual increase in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure making use of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. In the regular user of caffeinated coffee is not observed a significant change in blood pressure, the heart rate and the cardiac frequency .

This habitual relationship of drinking coffee is based on the fact that people who consumed one or fewer cups of coffee per day, but not frequently, triggered infarction more easily. On the other hand, the regular drinking was not able to cause significant effects on blood pressure, which does not discard the significance for the infarction [1, 9, 12]. In some cases, most of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction takes place in the morning, although caffeine plasma concentration is lower during this period of the day. This can be explained by a natural increase in the blood pressure in the morning, which is maintained by the caffeine ingested in the breakfast, generating a hazardous situation for irregular consumers.

The fact of having breakfast in the morning, associated with other risk factors, makes the irregular consumption essential for triggering nonfatal acute myocardial infarction [1]. Moreover, acute or chronic ingestion of coffee by both regular and irregular individuals strongly influences the blood lipid levels. This variable is influenced by gender, resulting an increased in triglyceride levels in men during acute ingestion.

On the other hand, the chronic ingestion by women increases the high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which would be beneficial to the women health . Moreover, the increase in HDL coffee is associated with other cardiovascular benefits . In cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus, there is an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and heart risks. The oxidative stress caused by hyperglycemia is a pathogenic factor of insulin resistance and/or a dysfunction of beta cells .

Some studies in several countries have found that high consumption of coffee is related to the low prevalence of hyperglycemia. Since the high blood glucose levels are relevant for cases of coronary heart disease, the antioxidant properties of coffee are able to minimize the oxidative stress, decreasing the total number of coronary and cardiovascular disease and cardiac arrests in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In summary, despite the coffee present health benefits, it is not considered a functional food because it is responsible for generate disorders in the body . Despite the progress of many researches over the years, the benefits and risks of coffee, considering the nutritional and clinical aspects, have been widely explored . However, it is difficult to complete the studies because many factors work together with the substances present in the coffee. Moreover, the way it is prepared plays a significant influence. Thus, many findings become contradictory, revealing a large discrepancy between the conclusions. However, there is the duality between the physiological actions of coffee substances, putting the caffeine as a fundamental icon to the studied effects of this beverage .

There are four substances that are responsible for the main clinical effects from the coffee, Cafestol, kahweol, Chlorogenic acid, caffeine. Its effects will often depend on the individual characteristics of coffee consumers, the coffee preparation mode, the type of grain used and also the drink intake habit.

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