It is a well-known fact that caffeine is the most widely consumed drug all around the world. If you are a coffee addict and are thinking of switching to decaffeinated coffee, it won't be of much help. Apart from caffeine, there are a significant number of chemical compounds found in coffee, which have stronger effects on the body. Caffeol, diptenes, and chlorogenic acid, are a few of the common active compounds present in coffee.
There are already a number of health disorders that are a result of regular caffeine consumption. Even decaffeinated coffee contains a small amount of harmful elements that can cause serious health issues. Despite the lower levels of caffeine, there is a fair amount of other phytochemicals, which can have harmful effects on the body.
Side Effects of Decaf Coffee
No decaffeinated coffee can be 100% caffeine-free. Studies show that 5-8 cups of decaf coffee have a caffeine dose equivalent to 1-2 cups of regular coffee. Even though the product cover may say that the coffee has gone through the decaf process, and is free from all the constituents which lead to various health problems, the risks still remain. No company ensures 100% removal of harmful chemicals from coffee. There are many side effects which are observed after regular consumption of this particular coffee, and a few of them are mentioned in the following paragraphs.
- It is scientifically proved that coffee is highly acidic in nature, and it stimulates excessive secretion of gastric acids. Decaffeinated coffee has been shown to increase acidity to a much larger extent. This is because, many times, decaffeinated coffee is produced from Robusta beans, and not Arabica beans.
- The acidity eventually can lead to ulcers, acid reflux, inflammatory bowel conditions, urinary tract inflammation, and heartburn. This can be one of the grave effects of decaf coffee.
- Studies conducted by Georgia researchers have shown that drinking several cups of decaf coffee per day can raise apolipoprotein B (ApoB), a laboratory marker for metabolic syndrome, by about 8% and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels by 18%. This can lead to cardiovascular diseases. No significant changes were noticed in people who drank regular coffee and also in those who did not drink coffee.
- Studies show that in people who consumed decaf coffee, LDL cholesterol was increased by about 5 to 6 mg/dL. This may not be statistically significant, but could be clinically important, if the doctor is trying to lower a patient's LDL cholesterol level. When the levels of LDL in blood increase, chances of heart attack and cardiovascular arrest also increase. This is definitely one of the fatal side effects, which acts as a slow poison to many caffeine addicts.
- The Robusta beans which are used to make decaf coffee have a higher content of diptenes, a type of blood fat that stimulates fatty acid production in the body. Thus, by raising blood cholesterol levels, decaf coffee can increase your risk of having heart disease. More studies are essential to prove this effect. However, those diagnosed with high blood cholesterol should avoid drinking 4-5 cups of decaffeinated coffee a day.
- According to current research, when you consume a regular coffee, there is a loss of almost 5 milligrams of calcium. This can lead to weak bones and development of osteoporosis, which is one of the most severe decaf coffee side effects.
- Osteoporosis can also occur due to low bone density, which can be a result of the chemicals present in decaf coffee.
- High acidity increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Very sensitive people may develop a dependency on the decaffeinated coffee, although it contains a very small amount of caffeine.
- Usually, ethyl acetate is used as a solvent during the process of production of decaf coffee. Animal studies show that use of methylene chloride can cause cancer.
- Despite a post-chemical bath, traces of methylene chloride and ethyl acetate can still be found in the decaffeinated product. These chemicals can cause respiratory issues and even nerve damage.
- Studies show that decaf coffee drinkers have a higher incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. It is believed that it could be due to residues of the chemicals used during the manufacturing processes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.