Is coffee bad for arthritis?
While this may strike some of you as a strange question, it is a very astute on. Coffee is something that most of us rink on a daily basis. In fact, it’s something most of us drink multiple times per day, every single day without fail. We also know that coffee has detrimental health effects; the caffeine increases the risk of heart disease, and frequent use can cause insomnia and addiction.
It is therefore worth looking into coffee’s effects on other parts of the body: namely, the joints.
Does drinking coffee damage the joints? Does it affect flexibility? Can coffee cause arthritis? Might it make arthritis worse?
Let’s take a closer look at the evidence and find out!
TL;DR Summary: Is coffee bad for arthritis?
The jury is still out about the link between coffee and increased risk of arthritis. Some studies indicate that coffee increases the risk of arthritis, while others show no correlation. As a rule of thumb, it is best to drink coffee in moderation, particularly if you already have symptoms of arthritis.
Coffee and arthritis: The evidence
Research suggests that drinking coffee may increase the risk of arthritis. However, the link between coffee and increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is debatable. Some studies say coffee increases the risk of arthritis, while others have found no such link.
One study found that there was a directly proportional correlation between coffee consumption and the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, the relationship only existed for rheumatoid factor positive rheumatoid arthritis. This indicates that coffee may increase rheumatoid arthritis development by contributing to the production of rheumatoid factor.
This is one study showing a direct link between coffee consumption and arthritis. However, the link was found to be directly proportional. What’s more, the study used a large number of participants (6809), and followed them over many years. So the evidence here is quite robust.
So should you avoid coffee if you have arthritis?
If you already have rheumatoid arthritis – especially RF-positive rheumatoid arthritis – then it is probably best to limit your coffee consumption as far as possible.
For everyone else, it seems wise to try to reduce coffee intake, given that the effect on arthritis is proportional to consumption. Try to stay under 4 cups per day and your risk will remain within manageable limits.
Maximizing joint health
If you are concerned about optimizing your joint health, then you should seriously consider using a top rated joint supplement. Avoiding joint stressors and joint-damaging activities, as well as pro-inflammatory activities and foods, will do a great deal to safeguard your joints as you get older. But a high quality joint supplement will do a lot more. The best joint supplements can protect your joints and actually improve flexibility.