Scientists from University Medical Center Rotterdam and elsewhere found that coffee drinking may benefit people with a high risk of chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should.
Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
Previous studies have suggested a protective effect of coffee against the development of chronic kidney disease, possibly through coffee’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
But few studies have tested coffee and kidney function decline in the general population.
In the current study, researchers examined the link of habitual coffee drinking with kidney disease biomarkers estimated glomerular filtration rate, and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a test that measures your level of kidney function and determines your stage of kidney disease.
The urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), also known as urine microalbumin, helps identify kidney disease that can occur as a complication of diabetes.
The researchers used data from 7,914 people in the population-based Rotterdam Study.
The team examined coffee drinking (cups/day) from home interviews and food questionnaires (1997-2008).
Participants’ average age was 66 years, 57% were women and average coffee consumption was 3 cups/day.
The researchers found those drinking more coffee were more likely to smoke and to have type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In all the participants, coffee was not linked to longitudinal eGFR during 5.4 years of follow-up.
However, among people aged older than 70 years or obese participants, one additional coffee cup/day was linked to lower risks of chronic kidney disease.
A protective trend was also found among former smokers and those with type 2 diabetes. Coffee was not linked to other kidney health biomarkers.
Based on the findings, the team suggests that coffee is not linked to kidney function in the total population.
But more coffee drinking is linked to better kidney health among those at higher risk for chronic kidney disease, i.e., among those aged 70+ and obese people.
The team says these findings require confirmation in other studies.
The research was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Anniek C van Westing et al.
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