The Effects of Coffee on Serum Iron Levels
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The morning ritual of coffee is a tradition for many people.
That is to say, lots of people have a habit of drinking coffee early in the morning.
Whether it’s a cup of coffee to start the day with your friends, coffee is part of our daily lives.
But did you know that coffee can affect our health in many ways?
Coffee can have both positive and negative effects on our health.
Yes, you heard it right!.
Coffee is a complex beverage with several potential health effects.
In this blog post, we will talk about the relationship between coffee and iron absorption. We will discuss the science behind iron absorption, how coffee can inhibit this process, and how to mitigate this effect.
We will also look at the confusing relationship between coffee and iron deficiency, and discuss on how to make informed coffee choices.
What is Serum Iron?
Serum iron is a type of iron that is found in the blood. It’s a measure of the amount of iron that is available to be used by the body.
Serum iron helps our body to make red cells, carries oxygen around, and gives us the energy we need.
Low serum iron levels can lead to iron deficiency, which then causes fatigue, shortness of breath, and pale skin.
High serum iron levels can also be a sign of iron overload, known as hemochromatosis.
Serum iron levels are measured by a blood test called serum iron test.
The normal range for serum iron levels is 65-175 µg/dL for men and 50-150 µg/dL for women.
Coffee and Iron Absorption
Iron absorption is the process by which the body takes in iron from food. This process occurs in the small intestine.
There are a number of factors that affects iron absorption, such as the form of iron, the presence of other nutrients, and caffeine.
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a substance that has been shown to inhibit iron absorption.
Caffeine does this by binding to iron in the stomach and prevents it from being absorbed into the blood.
Coffee contains polyphenols that interferes with iron. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have many health benefits, but they can also bind to iron and make it harder for the body to absorb.
The amount of coffee that you drink and the amount of iron that you consume can also affect the impact of coffee on iron absorption.
For example, drinking a large cup of coffee with a small meal may have a greater effect on iron absorption than drinking a small cup of coffee with a large meal.
The Surprising Link Between Coffee and Iron Deficiency
Despite the fact that coffee inhibit iron absorption, some studies have shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to be iron deficient than people who don’t drink coffee.
A study published in the journal “Nutrition Reviews” in 2017 found that coffee drinkers had lower odds of iron deficiency anemia than non-coffee drinkers, even after adjusting for other factors that could affect iron status, such as diet and lifestyle.
The study looked at data from over 2,700 adults and found that the risk of iron deficiency anemia was 23% lower among coffee drinkers than non-coffee drinkers .
Another study, published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2015, found that coffee drinkers had higher levels of ferritin, than non-coffee drinkers.
The study looked at data from over 1,800 adults and found that the average ferritin level was 17% higher among coffee drinkers than non-coffee drinkers .
Scientists don’t fully understand why this happens, but it may be due to the fact that coffee drinkers tend to eat more foods that are high in iron than people who don’t drink coffee.
However, drinking too much coffee can still lead to iron deficiency, most especially in people who are already at risk for this condition.
For example, women who are pregnant or menstruating, or people with chronic liver disease are more likely to be iron deficient.
There are also a number of people who have developed iron deficiency due to drinking too much coffee.
For example, one study found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee per day were more likely to be iron deficient than women who drank less than one cup of coffee per day.
Strategies to Reduce Coffee’s Effect on Iron Absorption
There are a number of things you can do to mitigate the effects of coffee on iron absorption. These include:
- Eating yogurt or cheese helps to slow down the absorption of caffeine.
- Eating iron-rich foods helps to compensate for the amount of iron that is lost due to coffee consumption.
- Taking an iron supplement.
Health Benefits of Coffee and Its Drawbacks
Coffee has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits, including:
- Protecting against type 2 diabetes
- Reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Improving cognitive function
- Boosting metabolism
- Reducing the risk of liver disease
- Increasing lifespan
However, coffee also has some drawbacks, such as:
- Increasing the risk of anxiety and insomnia
- Dehydrating the body
- Causing heartburn
- Interfering with the absorption of aspirin
Coffee can be good for you, but it’s important to drink it in moderation.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is about 4 cups of coffee.
Wrapping it Up
Your morning coffee is a nice routine, but it can affect your body’s iron levels. Coffee has some good and bad sides for your health, so it’s important to be smart about it.
Coffee has caffeine, which makes it even more difficult for your body to use iron from your food.
But surprisingly, some studies have shown that people who drink coffee might have less trouble with iron deficiency.
To make your coffee habit healthier, eat yogurt or foods with iron, or even take an iron supplement if you think it won’t cause any harm.
Just remember, coffee can be good, but don’t overdrink it.
Stick to the recommended amount of caffeine each day, and you can enjoy your coffee without worrying too much about its effects on your health.