Chronic kidney disease (CKD) afflicts more than 30 million Americans. It’s a progressive condition where the kidneys gradually lose their ability to filter water and waste from the blood. Over time, CKD may progress to kidney failure, forcing many patients to undergo transplantation or dialysis.
But according to a fascinating new study, patients with CKD have another, simpler treatment option: Drink a few cups of coffee a day. As it turns out, this simple routine can dramatically improve mortality rates in patients afflicted with CKD.
For this new study, researchers analyzed data for 2,300 patients with CKD who took part in the 1999–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The researchers categorized the patients into four groups, based on their coffee-drinking habits. Those who consumed:
- Less than ½ cup of coffee a day (approximately 4 ounces)
(under 30 mg of caffeine)
- ½ to 1 cup of coffee a day (approximately 4 to 8 ounces)
(31 to 101 mg of caffeine)
- 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day (approximately 8 to 16 ounces)
(102 to 206 mg of caffeine daily)
- 2 to 6 cups of coffee a day (approximately 16 to 48 ounces)
(207 to 1,379 mg of caffeine daily)
Results showed that those who drank the most coffee (about 2 to 6 cups a day) had a 24 percent lower all-cause mortality risk compared to those who drank the least (less than ½ cup).
Plus, those who drank 1 to 2 cups a day had a 22 percent lower all-cause mortality risk compared to those who drank the least. Even those who drank just ½ to 1 cup a day had a 12 percent lower all-cause mortality risk compared to those who drank the least. And those who drank the least amount of coffee saw no reduction in death rates.
The study also clearly demonstrated a protective dose-response effect. In other words, the more coffee the participants drank, the lower their death risk. (Dose-response is always a good indicator that you’ve found the medicine — or poison — responsible for any observations you may experience with your health.)
The researchers controlled for other risk factors, which might alter the results, including age, gender, race, family income, and education. Coffee’s protective effect was also independent of indicators of kidney disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, body weight, heart disease, diet, and creatinine levels.
The researchers credit the caffeine in coffee as the reason why the coffee drinkers incurred the significant improvements in mortality risk. But I’m not so sure…
Coffee also contains hundreds of other biologically active botanical compounds. And I’m always suspicious of attempts to parse out the one, “magic bullet” compound responsible for a food’s benefits.
Naysayers still persist
In response to the new study’s findings, Dr. Leslie Spry from Lincoln Nephrology & Hypertension Dialysis Center in Nebraska, stated, “As you know, there are studies of coffee being harmful, beneficial and having no effect on health.”
“As you know,” Dr. Spry?
I don’t — in fact — know of any studies showing the harmful effects of coffee. Now can you see why these medical myths just won’t die — despite the scientific evidence?
Furthermore, I find it tragic how politically correct, public health “experts” keep trying to label coffee consumption as a “vice.” In fact, I recently heard a few journalists on NPR attempt to get one of my colleagues at Harvard to condemn it.
But, as much as they love political correctness at Harvard, my colleague loves the science even more. He could only cite the evidence for all of coffee’s health benefits.
And scientific evidence on coffee continues to emerge, showing more and more benefits for brain, heart, and longevity. And now — for kidney problems as well.
Nutrition can reverse disease — not just prevent it
Many people think about nutrition only in terms of preventing chronic diseases. This is partially due to the fact that scientific evidence for disease prevention comes from large, long-term studies — which often cost millions of dollars and take many years to conduct properly. So, they are rarely concluded and evidence is rarely presented…
By comparison, we have far more studies that investigate the ability of nutrition and natural approaches to treat and reverse chronic diseases, and of course, to improve survival. This kidney disease and coffee study is a perfect example.
So, as you look ahead to the New Year, remember that natural approaches aren’t just for prevention and wellness anymore. They can help reverse what ails you and work with your body to restore your health.
P.S. People often develop kidney disease as a complication of high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. Of course, as I always advise, you should manage these two conditions under the care of an experienced, trusted physician.
Nevertheless, many effective natural approaches can help prevent — and even reverse — both heart disease and Type II diabetes. You can learn more about these approaches in my new online learning tools: my Heart Attack Prevention & Repair Protocol and my Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes (set for release in early 2018).
“Caffeine Consumption and Mortality in CKD,” American Society of Nephrology (www.asn-online.org) 11/3/2017