Caffeine for Inflammation
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Inflammation has been considered the most prevalent cause of chronic illnesses nowadays, affecting millions of people in nearly every country across the world. It has been linked to various health complications ranging from mild easy manageable diseases such as acne vulgaris to severe difficult to manage conditions like cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
Consumption of caffeine has been often associated with decreased risk of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties and uses of caffeine for inflammation have been reviewed by multiple scientific studies.
In this article, we’ll discuss the medicinal properties and uses of caffeine for inflammation according to scientific research. But before we get into the benefits of caffeine on inflammation, it’s worth knowing the fundamentals of inflammation a bit little more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is inflammation?
- Types of inflammation
- Signs and symptoms of inflammation
- Causes of inflammation
- Complications of inflammation
- What is caffeine?
- Benefits of caffeine for inflammation
- How to use caffeine supplements
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural bodily process caused by white blood cells and other protective factors of the body to protect it from within against outside invaders such as viruses, bacteria, or fungi that cause infections.
But in certain cases, the immune system may become over-responsive and mistakenly attack healthy tissues, triggering inflammation and causing unusual damage and diseases called autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, vasculitis, and ankylosing spondylitis are a few common autoimmune diseases.
Types of inflammation
Inflammation can be classified into two main types, it can be either:
Acute inflammation - is short-lived and may last only a few hours to days, or
Chronic inflammation - is long-lasting and may last months or years even though the first attack is well treated and managed.
Chronic inflammation can be associated with various health conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Various types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis
- Various heart conditions such as myocarditis and pericarditis
- Alzheimer’s disease
Signs and symptoms of inflammation
Signs and symptoms of inflammation may include:
- Stiffness of the joints
- Limited movements of joints
Inflammation may sometimes cause various flu-like symptoms, such as:
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy or fatigue
Causes of inflammation
In an inflammatory condition, chemicals of white blood cells permeate into the blood and want to reach the tissues of injury or infection to protect the body. This process significantly increases the blood flow towards the area of infection or injury, causing heat and redness. Some chemicals also cause fluid to leak into the affected part, causing swelling.
This natural bodily process to protect the body triggers nerves and may cause pain. Overwhelming numbers of white blood cells and the materials they produce can affect joint lining and damage cartilage over time.
Complications of inflammation
If not treated properly, inflammation may affect internal organs as part of autoimmune conditions. A number of organs might be involved in inflammation including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a phytonutrient stimulant found in coffee, tea, and cacao plants. It has psychoactive properties that can enhance the functionality of the brain and nervous system, which is why the primary source of caffeine, coffee, is considered one of the most preferred beverages in the world.
Benefits of caffeine for inflammation
Caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the body. Consumption of caffeine has been linked to decreased levels of inflammatory markers in multiple studies.
In a clinical trial in 2010 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that consumption of coffee appears to have beneficial effects on HDL cholesterol and subclinical inflammation.
A recent systematic review published in 2019 in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that caffeine and other coffee components have predominant anti-inflammatory actions.
Nevertheless, there is evidence that suggests some people may experience an increase in inflammation with caffeine intake. Therefore, the effects of caffeine on inflammation may vary depending on individual tolerance and genetic factors.
However, studies suggest regular caffeine consumption in a moderate manner appears to be beneficial for most people to counter inflammation, especially age-related inflammatory conditions.
How to use caffeine supplements
The doses of caffeine supplements particularly for inflammation may widely vary from person to person depending on the specific health conditions and associated symptoms. However, common doses of caffeine supplements for inflammation range from 200 mg to 800 mg per day which can be taken in several divided doses.
Precautions and side effects
Though caffeine supplements are likely safe for most people in recommended doses, higher doses may cause some side effects such as headache, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate.
Besides, caffeine may interfere with the effects of other medications. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a natural medicine practitioner prior to using caffeine for inflammation especially if you are currently on medications for any underlying health condition.
Caffeine is best known for its stimulating properties. But only a few people know about the benefits of caffeine for inflammation. There is scientific evidence that links caffeine consumption with decreased risk of inflammation, especially for age-related inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Excess caffeine intake may produce some serious side effects and therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a licensed natural medicine practitioner before starting caffeine for inflammation.
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