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    Does Caffeine Affect Hormones?

    • 2 min read

    Can too much of a good thing become a bad thing?

    We all love our coffee.  That pick up and perk up that we count on.  Many of us even love the taste too!

    However, if you’re wanting to protect your estrogen levels for fertility or health reasons then you may want to pay attention.

    One study in particular does show that caffeine intake in women of child-bearing age can have an influence estrogen levels.1

    This 2-year study included 250 women between the ages 18-44.  It was shown that moderate caffeine intake (2 cups per day) was associated with reduced estradiol levels in white women whereas caffeinated soda and green tea were associated with increased estradiol levels in all races.

    Estradiol is the most important of the 3 estrogens and is critically involved in many things from ovulation, pregnancy, bone health, brain health and heart health.

    We are biochemically unique, but it certainly does seem prudent that women in childbearing years should be careful about their caffeine intake.

     

    Another reason to pay attention:

    Research has also shown that individuals who are not used to caffeine do experience a significant increase in cortisol release after ingestion but individuals who are used to caffeine do not see the same spike in cortisol. 2

    New or irregular coffee drinkers could experience more negative side effects in general.  This shows that it might not be a good time to start drinking coffee if you’re under stress already.  Elevated cortisol levels do have hormone disrupting potential and we do already have a lot of women under stress and potentially experiencing unhealthy elevations in cortisol especially in our western “do it all” culture.

     

    References:

    1. Karen C Schliep, Enrique F Schisterman, Sunni L Mumford, Anna Z Pollack, Cuilin Zhang, Aijun Ye, Joseph B Stanford, Ahmad O Hammoud, Christina A Porucznik, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Caffeinated beverage intake and reproductive hormones among premenopausal women in the BioCycle Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 95, Issue 2, February 2012, Pages 488–497, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.021287
    1. Lovallo, W. R., Whitsett, T. L., al'Absi, M., Sung, B. H., Vincent, A. S., & Wilson, M. F. (2005). Caffeine stimulation of cortisol secretion across the waking hours in relation to caffeine intake levels. Psychosomatic medicine67(5), 734–739. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.psy.0000181270.20036.06