The People's Perspective on Medicine

Surprise–Coffee Drinkers Have Less Chance of Rosacea

Coffee has a reputation as a rosacea trigger. But data from the Nurses' Health Study suggests that drinking coffee lowers a woman's chance of rosacea.

Rosacea is a skin condition in which the skin flushes or reddens easily and may stay red chronically. People may also develop pimple-like bumps on the skin. People with rosacea are often advised to avoid potential triggers, including going outside when it’s hot in the summer. They are also told not to eat spicy food or drink hot beverages such as coffee. Now, data from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who drink coffee actually have a lower chance of rosacea.

Who Has a Higher Chance of Rosacea?

The study followed more than 80,000 women for 15 years (JAMA Dermatology, Sept. 17, 2018). Information on their diets, including tea, coffee and soda pop consumption, was collected every four years. During that time, nearly 5,000 of the women were diagnosed with rosacea.

Compared to women who drank coffee less than once a month, those who drank four or more cups daily were 23 percent less likely to develop the condition. Decaf coffee, however, was not protective. Neither were tea, caffeinated soft drinks or chocolate. The absolute risk dropped by 132 per 100,000 person/years between the highest and the lowest levels of coffee consumption.

The researchers do not suggest that women should start drinking coffee to avoid rosacea.

Instead, they recommend that doctors stop telling them to avoid coffee:

“Our findings do not support limiting caffeine intake as a means to prevent rosacea.”

It is not quite clear how caffeine from coffee might act to reduce a woman’s chance of rosacea. Expect further research on this question.

Other Benefits of Drinking Coffee:

Lowering your chance of rosacea is not the only health benefit that you may derive from drinking coffee. An earlier study showed that coffee drinkers are less likely to have liver problems.

Researchers have been reporting for years that people who drink regular coffee are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes as well as certain kinds of cancer.

Caf or Decaf for Coffee Drinkers?

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute reported that people who consume at least three cups of either regular or decaffeinated coffee a day usually have lower liver enzyme levels (Hepatology, online Aug. 13, 2014). Patients who drank tea and other sources of caffeine did not have the same benefit.

That suggests that other ingredients in coffee itself, rather than caffeine, could be responsible for the protective effect on the liver. As we have seen, that does not hold for all of coffee’s health effects. Decaf coffee did nothing to reduce the chance of rosacea.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I drink coffee . I still have rosacea. However, the caffeine in my coffee helps me to breathe when I have asthma attack.

I developed Rosacea 10 years ago and struggled trying various prescription medicines that were quite expensive. Nothing worked. I don’t like coffee but three years ago, I started drinking coffee mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil for energy in the morning. My skin improved immediately and I haven’t suffered since. I put it down to the butter, but maybe it was the coffee. When I mentioned it to the dermatologist, he just shrugged. All I can say is, my skin is clear.

Tea is high in oxalates, which cause all kinds of problems. Discontinuing tea, black, green, white, and cinnamon, and drinking coffee, helped my rosacea.

I’m wondering if my adding coffee to my protein shakes will impact the efficacy of the coffee benefits. I seldom drink coffee on its own due to jitters but love it inside a shake in mornings that I drink all morning long, giving me 60 gm protein by noon and many added health benefits, being its mixed vegan and whey isolate made with ice and water only. Coffee is a must in this routine for me but the liver enzyme issue is of interest to me….. is it straight coffee that activates whatever or……..?

According to a recent hypothesis, the virus that causes rosacea may be linked to Alzheimer’s. Given that drinking 4 cups of caffeinated coffee daily has a positive effect on rosacea, and given that there may be a viral link between Alzheimer’s and rosacea, might drinking 4 cups of caffeinated coffee reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s? Has any reliable study investigated whether there is any correlation between drinking caffeinated coffee and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s? Should there be such a study.

I add a couple of drops of Black Strap Molasses to mine and it taste delicious and adds a few minerals!

A friend of mine has rosacea on her cheeks, and my husband has it on his nose. Both love coffee, and drink a fair amount. Would things have been worse if they hadn’t been coffee drinkers?

Coffee used to be considered a trigger for A Fib. New research shows the opposite. It actually helps prevent it & can help get your heart back in sinus rhythm if you are having an attack. As usual many doctors are ignoring these new studies & are still telling AFib patients to avoid coffee. This is good news for me as an AFib patient. After an alblation I’m AFib free but it’s good to know that as a avid coffee drinker I’m actually helping to prevent a recurrence.

What about men?

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