Do you drink coffee?

Ever wonder if it’s actually good or bad for you and your thyroid health?

Some love coffee and say that they can’t live without it (more on this a second).

Others claim that coffee is nothing more than an addictive stimulant that is ruining the lives of millions of people who consume it daily.

Well, one thing is certain… coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.

It’s also one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the human diet.

Yet, there are a lot of anti-coffee claims out there… such as:

  • Coffee increases stress hormones and should be avoided due to adrenal-fatigue because our lives today are inundated with stress…
  • Coffee worsens thyroid function and should never be used in cases of hormonal issues.
  • Caffeine over-stimulates the body and depletes the body of nutrients.

The good news is that all of these common anti-coffee claims have one thing in common… …they’re all FALSE. And we’re here to set the record straight. Unfortunately, coffee is one of the most misunderstood foods with respect to its health benefits. In this article you’re going to learn:

  • How coffee and caffeine both boost and protect your thyroid health on numerous levels.
  • How coffee and caffeine reduce your risk of almost every disease from heart disease, to cancer, to diabetes, and even neurodegenerative brain diseases.
  • How coffee and caffeine help you to be healthier and live a higher quality of life.

Now, that’s not to say that some people don’t have trouble tolerating coffee.

Some experience blood sugar instability, insomnia, anxiety, etc.

However, these types of issues typically stem from other underlying dysfunctions, such as poor liver function, poor diet, and nutritional deficiencies, and not from the coffee itself.

We’ve worked with many clients to overcome these issues so they could use coffee to the benefit of their thyroid health.

Believe it or not, scientifically speaking, coffee has many similarities to thyroid hormone in how it affects your body.

For example, like thyroid hormone, coffee helps to stimulate healthy oxidative metabolism, which is necessary for high-energy production.

Dysfunctional metabolism is one reason why fatigue is such a common symptom of hypothyroidism.

Keep in mind that for coffee to have beneficial effects on your thyroid health, it does NOT have to work by augmenting thyroid hormone levels.

This is a common mistake made by many so-called experts who claim that coffee has no positive effects on thyroid health.

While some see reaching for a morning cup a coffee to help get your day started as a sign of addiction or weakness…

…the fact that some feel like they can’t live without coffee is simply a sign that coffee is helping them to produce energy more efficiently (and in a healthier way too).

Now, let’s get a couple of things straight.

  1. I’m in no way saying that simply drinking coffee will cure anyone of their thyroid dysfunction (or any disease), or that coffee can be used as a replacement for your thyroid medication.
  2. While the health benefits of coffee are quite clear, using coffee cannot completely protect you from thyroid-suppressive dietary (i.e. low-carb), lifestyle and supplement choices. For example, if coffee decreases your risk of heart disease by 15 percent, yet your diet increases your risk by 30 percent, you will still be at a greater risk of heart disease, even though the coffee is still helping.

However, when used properly, coffee can certainly play a BIG role in helping to improve your thyroid health by improving the efficiency of your thyroid function.

Aside from its thyroid-boosting effects, coffee has far too many additional health benefits to ignore.

Simply put, it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your thyroid and protect yourself from numerous deadly diseases, which you’re about to see.

If you currently drink coffee, then this will help reinforce why you should continue to make coffee a part of your daily life.

If not, then you may find yourself wondering why.

5 Ways Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid Hormone Pathway (and Your Thyroid Health)

To truly understand the full thyroid-boosting benefits that coffee has to offer, you have to first understand that your thyroid health depends on much more than just your thyroid gland. Instead, your thyroid health depends on an intricate Thyroid Hormone Pathway, which your thyroid hormones must travel before they ever gets to your cells, and before your body can ever use it.

(NOTE: Learn more about fixing your Thyroid Hormone Pathway in this article on “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”.)

With hypothyroidism (and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), your pathway becomes blocked on multiple levels preventing your body, organs, tissue, and cells from using thyroid hormone properly.

That’s why we always say… “If you can’t get the right thyroid hormone to your cells or your cells can’t use that thyroid hormone efficiently, then you will always be hypothyroid.”

Now, let’s take a closer look at how coffee (and caffeine) helps to protect and boost your thyroid by making your Thyroid Hormone Pathway function better…

1. Coffee Helps Protect Your Thyroid Gland from Thyroid Cancer

Unfortunately, there’s not much research with respect to coffee’s direct effects on the thyroid gland.

The research that is available does suggest that coffee reduces your risk of thyroid cancer and also helps lower TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which provides additional protective effects.

Does coffee consumption protect against thyroid disease? “Statistical analysis revealed a strikingly negative (p less than 0.05) association between benign and malignant thyroid disease and consumption of coffee. After adjustment for possible confounding variables, the association remained statistically significant.”

The protective effects of coffee against thyroid cancer are further supported by additional evidence.

First, caffeine is known to increase cyclic AMP, which inhibits cancer cell growth.

Second, as we’ll cover in detail in just a bit, coffee is also well-known to reduce the risk of numerous other types of cancer.

Unfortunately, some also attempt to argue the thyroid protective effects of coffee based on unreliable studies.

For example, one meta-analysis study found no correlation between coffee and thyroid cancer, however, the author was unable to draw this conclusion due to the unreliability of the study data stating…

“Coffee contains a variety of biologically active compounds that might affect the risk of cancer. For instance, caffeine increases intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which has an inhibitory effect on cell (i.e., tumor) growth [13,27]. However, the effects of caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee on thyroid cancer were not studied in this meta-analysis due to limited information. Only one study [22] reported separate association estimates for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee with thyroid cancer, showing that drinking caffeinated coffee has a preventive effect on thyroid cancer, whereas decaffeinated coffee was associated with an increased risk [22]… These findings should be interpreted with caution because of potential biases and confounding variables.”

While there is still room for plenty of additional research, the research that is available has demonstrated a significantly lower risk of thyroid cancer among coffee drinkers.

2. Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid By Protecting Your Liver

We say it all the time…

Probably the most important, yet overlooked, piece of the thyroid puzzle is your liver.

Your thyroid gland may produce thyroid hormone, but it’s your liver that must convert that thyroid hormone into its usable form and regulate the amount of thyroid hormone your body needs all day every day.

And that’s just scratching the surface. Your liver is also responsible for detoxifying numerous thyroid-suppressive hormones and toxins as well as regulating your blood sugar.

All of these are essential for proper thyroid function.

Studies show that both coffee and caffeine protect your liver in numerous ways, including:

  • Lowering liver enzymes (a sign of stress/damage to the liver).
  • Protecting against fatty liver disease.
  • Protecting against fibrosis of the liver.

Effects of coffee consumption against the development of liver dysfunction: a 4-year follow-up study of middle-aged Japanese male office workers. “These results suggest that coffee may be protective against the liver dysfunction…”

Protective role of coffee in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). “CONCLUSIONS: A possible opposite, if not antagonistic, role of coffee with regard to overweightness and insulin resistance, similar to that reported in hepatocarcinoma and cirrhosis, is envisaged in the natural history of NAFLD.”

Association of coffee and caffeine consumption with fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and degree of hepatic fibrosis. “CONCLUSION: Coffee CC is associated with a significant reduction in risk of fibrosis among NASH patients.”

Liver dysfunction is a major cause of hypothyroidism today.

Anything that improves liver function, including coffee and caffeine, in turn helps to improve thyroid function.

Want to experience the difference that the right coffee can make?

Try the coffee that we developed and use ourselves and with our clients that can help get you back to the happy and healthy you.

Thyro-Boost Coffee

Your thyroid will surely thank you.

3. Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid By Lowering Thyroid-Suppressive Estrogen

Estrogen is probably the most thyroid-suppressive hormone there is.

When overproduced and/or unopposed by progesterone, it blocks your thyroid function in many ways, including:

  • Inhibiting the proteolytic enzymes that allow your thyroid gland to release its thyroid hormone, directly blocking your thyroid gland.
  • Blocking your liver from converting inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 thyroid hormone your cells need to survive.
  • Blocking your metabolism and preventing you from using thyroid hormone efficiently.

To make matters worse, hypothyroidism itself promotes estrogen dominance, which in turn further suppresses your thyroid and traps you in a perpetual state of hypothyroidism.

The good news is research shows that both coffee and caffeine can help protect against estrogen dominance in a number of ways, including:

  • Lowering estrogen levels among premenopausal women.
  • Increasing progesterone levels among premenopausal women.
  • Increasing sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) among postmenopausal women, which binds to and inactivates estrogen in the blood.

Relationship between caffeine intake and plasma sex hormone concentrations in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. “RESULTS: In premenopausal women, caffeine intake was inversely associated with luteal total and free estradiol, and positively associated with luteal progesterone levels (P-trend = .02, .01, .03, respectively). Coffee intake was significantly associated with lower luteal total and free estradiol levels, but not luteal progesterone levels (P-trend = .007, .004, .20, respectively). Among the postmenopausal women, there was a positive association between caffeine and coffee intake and SHBG levels (P-trend = .03 and .06, respectively).”

Coffee and caffeine have also been shown to protect against thyroid-suppressive estrogen in other ways.

For example, the aromatase enzyme that exists in your fat cells is a common means of estrogen overproduction in hypothyroidism.

This enzyme converts androgens like testosterone in estrogen.

Coffee is a well-known and recognized aromatase inhibitor, meaning that it helps to stop this enzyme from producing excess estrogen.

Caffeine has also been shown to provide additional anti-estrogenic benefits through its ability to directly block estrogen-receptors.

This is evident through the mounting research showing caffeine’s ability to protect against estrogen-receptor (positive and negative) cancers.

Caffeine and Caffeic Acid Inhibit Growth and Modify Estrogen Receptor and Insulin-like Growth Factor I Receptor Levels in Human Breast Cancer. “RESULTS: Moderate (2-4 cups/day) to high (≥5 cups/day) coffee intake was associated with smaller invasive primary tumors (Ptrend = 0.013) and lower proportion of ER(+) tumors (Ptrend = 0.018), compared with patients with low consumption (≤1 cup/day). Moderate to high consumption was associated with lower risk for breast cancer events in tamoxifen-treated patients with ER(+) tumors (adjusted HR, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-0.97). Caffeine and caffeic acid suppressed the growth of ER(+) (P ≤ 0.01) and ER(-) (P ≤ 0.03) cells. Caffeine significantly reduced ER and cyclin D1 abundance in ER(+) cells. Caffeine also reduced the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGFIR) and pAkt levels in both ER(+) and ER(-) cells.”

4. Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid By Lowering Thyroid-Suppressive Stress Hormones

Stress hormones are well known for their thyroid-suppressive effects.

Both stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver and increase the conversion of T4 to reverse T3.

Stress hormones are also probably the most controversial topic when it comes to coffee and caffeine.

Many people have been led to believe that coffee is bad because it increases stress hormone levels.

However, this is a very misunderstood topic.

What you need to understand is that most of the benefits of coffee are dose-dependent (the more you drink the more the benefit) and come from long-term use (drinking it daily).

Some studies show that if one has avoided coffee and begins using it, there can be a temporary increase in stress hormone production over the course of a few days.

Yet, studies further show that after a week or two of continual use, coffee actually lowers stress hormone production significantly.

In other words, the daily use of coffee is extremely protective against stress.

(NOTE: If you don’t tolerate coffee well, then it’s most often due to underlying dysfunctions within your own body that need to be fixed. We’ll cover this and how to improve your tolerance to coffee in more detail in an upcoming article. Coffee is something that everyone can and should benefit from.)

Coffee and caffeine lower stress hormones in a number of ways.

The following study shows that coffee directly blocks the 11beta-HSD1 enzyme responsible for the production of cortisol.

The researchers also determined that this effect was not due to caffeine, but rather to other components of coffee.

Coffee inhibits the reactivation of glucocorticoids by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1: a glucocorticoid connection in the anti-diabetic action of coffee? “Coffee extract blocked 11beta-HSD1-dependent cortisol formation, prevented the subsequent nuclear translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor and abolished glucocorticoid-induced expression of the key gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase.”

While the study above demonstrated the potent anti-stress effects of coffee unrelated to caffeine, caffeine itself has been shown to provide even more anti-stress benefits.

The following study shows that long-term caffeine use also inhibits production of the stress hormone adrenaline.

Chronic caffeine intake decreases circulating catecholamines and prevents diet-induced insulin resistance and hypertension in rats. “We concluded that long-term caffeine intake prevented the development of insulin resistance and hypertension in HF and HSu models and that this effect was related to a decrease in circulating catecholamines.”

Caffeine also suppresses stress by increasing dopamine and your sensitivity to dopamine.

Dopamine in turn lowers serotonin, another potent anti-thyroid hormone.

Serotonin, a stress hormone commonly elevated in hypothyroidism, activates your pituitary gland to increase cortisol, estrogen, and prolactin, all of which are extremely thyroid-suppressive.

(NOTE: Want to learn more about how serotonin promotes stress in your body? Take a look at this article on “How to Suppress Stress and Regain Control of Your Thyroid by Cracking Down on These 4 Thyroid-Stress Activators”.)

As you can see, coffee helps stop the overproduction of stress hormones and is not a burden to your adrenal glands like many have been led to believe.

(NOTE: Want to know why your thyroid is actually responsible for your adrenal issues? Be sure to take a look at this article on “Why You Don’t Have Adrenal Fatigue and Why Treating It Is Ruining Your Thyroid”.)

5. Coffee Boosts Metabolism and Active T3 Thyroid Hormone By Reversing Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (and diabetes), which is extremely common in hypothyroidism, also inhibits the conversion of inactive T4 into active T3 thyroid hormone by your liver.

It does so by preventing your liver cells from properly using glucose (sugar), the inherent problem of diabetes. As Dr. Raymond Peat states:

“Since glucose is needed by liver cells to produce the active (T3) form of thyroid, diabetes almost by definition will produce hypothyroidism, since in diabetes glucose can’t be absorbed efficiently by cells.”

Studies have confirmed this by showing that those with diabetes develop elevated T4 and low T3 levels, a classic sign that T4 is not being convert into T3.

The Relationship Between Thyroid Function and the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Euthyroid Subjects. “CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that decreased FT3, FT3/FT4 ratios, and increased FT4 levels are independently related to a higher prevalence of T2DM in both males and females.”

So, anything that can help reverse or prevent insulin resistance and diabetes will also help improve thyroid function by increasing the conversion of inactive T4 into the active T3 thyroid hormone in the liver.

Well, coffee helps do that too.

Numerous studies have now demonstrated that long-term coffee and caffeine use protects against insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

Chronic caffeine intake decreases circulating catecholamines and prevents diet-induced insulin resistance and hypertension in rats. “We concluded that long-term caffeine intake prevented the development of insulin resistance and hypertension in HF and HSu models and that this effect was related to a decrease in circulating catecholamines.”

(NOTE: Want to learn how hypothyroidism is the real cause of diabetes? Be sure to read this article on “Hypothyroidism and Diabetes: How to Reverse It and Why Sugar Is NOT the Problem”.)

Both hypothyroidism and diabetes also impair the final stage of your Thyroid Hormone Pathway… your metabolism.

One of the essential functions of active T3 thyroid hormone is to promote healthy oxidative metabolism.

This is required for your cells to produce the large amounts of energy they need to maintain their healthy and disease-free state.

If you are hypothyroid (or diabetic), your healthy oxidative metabolism becomes inhibited.

Many studies have demonstrated coffee and caffeine’s ability to stimulate healthy oxidative metabolism and the efficient use of glucose.

This is yet another way that coffee and caffeine help promote healthy thyroid function by supporting a healthy, pro-thyroid state of metabolism.

5 More Undeniable Health Benefits of Coffee

The benefits of coffee and caffeine don’t stop with just your thyroid.

The additional health benefits coffee has to offer may make you question why anyone would not want to drink it.

(We’ve had many clients who can’t stand the taste of coffee, yet love it when prepared as we recommend in our Ultimate Thyroid-Boosting Meal Plan.)

The use of coffee and caffeine are also associated with increased protection against numerous deadly diseases.

thyroid disease risk

Considering the relatively low cost of a daily cup of coffee, it may be one of the most powerful and cost effective ways to protect your health…

And considering the extremely high costs of healthcare and treatments today, reducing your risk of death and disease by simply drinking coffee could realistically save you tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs over the course of your lifetime.

Also, not to mention the improvement in quality of life, which isn’t something you can put a price on.

Let’s take a look at these additional health benefits in more detail…

1. Coffee Helps Protect Against Heart Disease

Heart disease (#1 cause of death accounting for 23.4% of all deaths in the US)

Decades ago it was thought that coffee consumption could be a causal factor in the increased incidence of heart disease.

Since then, many studies have looked at the association between coffee drinkers and heart disease.

The results are clear that daily coffee consumption provides a significant decrease in risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and has numerous other heart healthy effects.

Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. “CONCLUSIONS: A nonlinear association between coffee consumption and CVD risk was observed in this meta-analysis. Moderate coffee consumption was inversely significantly associated with CVD risk, with the lowest CVD risk at 3 to 5 cups per day, and heavy coffee consumption was not associated with elevated CVD risk.”

Three to five cups of coffee resulted in a 15 percent decrease risk of heart disease!

Thyro-Boost Coffee

(NOTE: Want to learn how properly treating your thyroid can reduce your risk of heart disease by 94%? Be sure to read this article on “Why ‘Bad Cholesterol’ Is Essential to Your Thyroid”.)

2. Coffee Helps Protect Against Cancer

Cancer (#2 cause of death accounting for 22.5% of all deaths in the US)

There have been dozens of studies observing incidence of cancer among coffee drinkers vs. non-coffee drinkers.

The results are striking.

Coffee doesn’t only help protect you from thyroid cancer. It also helps protect against a number of other cancers, for example:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Oral Cancer
  • Pharynx Cancer
  • And more.

Reducing the risk of breast cancer is extremely important, as postmenopausal women with hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are at much greater risk.

Not only does coffee reduce your risk of developing most types of cancer… it is also associated with smaller tumor sizes and less aggressive tumors among those who do develop cancer.

3. Coffee Helps Protect Against Stroke

Stroke (#5 cause of death accounting for 5.1% of all deaths in the US)

Simply drinking as little as 1 cup of coffee 3 to 6 times per week can decrease your risk of stroke by 20 percent.

The impact of green tea and coffee consumption on the reduced risk of stroke incidence in Japanese population: the Japan public health center-based study cohort. “Compared with seldom drinking coffee, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of all strokes were 0.89 (0.80-0.99), 0.80 (0.72-0.90), and 0.81 (0.72-0.91) for coffee 3 to 6 times/week and 1 and ≥ 2 times/day, respectively.”

4. Coffee Helps Protect Against Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases

Alzheimer’s disease (#6 cause of death accounting for 3.6% of all deaths in the US)

Past studies have demonstrated the reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases among coffee drinkers, particularly with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases.

Yet, a more recent study has begun to show one mechanism by which caffeine provides neuroprotective benefits to the brain.

Screening with an NMNAT2-MSD platform identifies small molecules that modulate NMNAT2 levels in cortical neurons. “Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferase 2 (NMNAT2) is a key neuronal maintenance factor and provides potent neuroprotection in numerous preclinical models of neurological disorders. NMNAT2 is significantly reduced in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s diseases… Caffeine, one identified NMNAT2 positive-modulator, when systemically administered restored NMNAT2 expression in rTg4510 tauopathy mice to normal levels.

5. Coffee Helps Protect Against Diabetes

Diabetes (#7 cause of death accounting for 2.9% of all deaths in the US) Since I have previously discussed the protective effects of coffee and caffeine with type-2 diabetes above, I won’t repeat it here.

However, it’s worth noting that diabetes sits as the #7 top cause of death in the US. Why does this matter?

I’ll show you…

Coffee and Caffeine Help You Live a (Potentially) Longer, Happier, and Healthier Life

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 undeniable health benefits of coffee a little closer.

  • Heart disease (#1 cause of death accounting for 23.4% of all deaths in the US)
  • Cancer (#2 cause of death accounting for 22.5% of all deaths in the US)
  • Stroke (#5 cause of death accounting for 5.1% of all deaths in the US)
  • Alzheimer’s disease (#6 cause of death accounting for 3.6% of all deaths in the US)
  • Diabetes (#7 cause of death accounting for 2.9% of all deaths in the US)

These 5 leading causes of deaths in the US account for 57.5 percent of all deaths every year.

That means that using coffee daily can potentially help you to live a longer, happier, and healthier life.

Who wouldn’t want that?

This is further evident through mortality studies that continue to show that those who drink coffee live healthier lives than those those who don’t, but also, the more coffee you drink, the better.

Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism: Findings From the UK Biobank. “CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking 8 or more cups per day and those with genetic polymorphisms indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism. These findings suggest the importance of non-caffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet.”

It’s worth noting from the study above that even those who don’t metabolize caffeine (meaning that caffeine has little to no effect on them) still benefited from daily coffee use.

This is important because it confirms that there’s much more to coffee than just the caffeine that is responsible for its extensive health benefits.

Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality. “CONCLUSIONS: In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality.”

Not only does this study show that those who drink coffee decrease their risk of death due to disease, it also shows that the more coffee you drink, the better:

Men’s Results: two to three cups of coffee per day decreased risk of death by 10% in men. And each addition cup provided an additional 6% decreased risk. Women’s Results: two to three cups of coffee per day decreased risk of death by 13% in women. And each additional cup provided an additional 5% decreased risk.

As you can see, the benefits of coffee are huge, and not only for just your thyroid health. Based on the research, it appears that 3 to 5 cups of coffee provides significant protection.

Yet, not including coffee in your daily routine, even if it’s just 1 cup in the morning, is leaving you susceptible to numerous health problems and diseases.

From time to time, we do run into clients who don’t tolerate coffee or have trouble initially adding coffee to their daily routine.

There are steps that we take to fix this, which we’ll be outlining in an upcoming article.

However, most look at coffee as the problem when the reality is that your troubles with coffee stem from an underlying dysfunction within your body, most commonly related to liver dysfunction or poor dietary and/or lifestyle choices.

Yet, the writing on the wall is crystal clear.

The health benefits of coffee are vast, enormous, and undeniable.

Unfortunately, there are many uneducated and unaware people out there who are misleading the public into believing that coffee is bad for your thyroid and your health in general.

After decades of research, that has been proven to not be the case.

Research continues to show the benefits.

If this challenges your beliefs about coffee then try to keep an open mind and be willing to experiment or challenge your beliefs.

Many of our clients have spent years and even decades trapped in their thyroid condition simply because of false beliefs.

That’s something that everyone must to overcome in order to get back to their happy and healthy selves.

Want to experience the difference that the right coffee can make?

Try the coffee that we developed and use ourselves and with our clients that can help get you back to the happy and healthy you.

Thyro-Boost Coffee

Your thyroid will surely thank you.