Coffee and Lupus

Coffe and Lupus

Today is National Coffee Day! And for those who are Coffee Lovers, I bring the results of the first study to assess the impact of caffeine on lupus disease activity! And they are good news!


In people with lupus, caffeine consumption may help reduce disease activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index values and cytokine levels. Cytokines are proteins released by cells that affect the interactions, communications, or behavior of cells, including molecules that trigger inflammation and response to infections. Moreover, persons with lupus with a low caffeine consumption seem to have a more severe disease phenotype.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease mainly affecting young women, potentially involving any organ/system. The central role of environmental factors in disease pathogenesis has been widely demonstrated: among these, an emerging interest has been pointed to dietary factors.


In this context, the spectrum of research on caffeine, one of the most widely consumed products in the world, is exponentially growing during the last decade. Indeed, caffeine, acting as a non-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, seems to interact with multiple immune system components, influencing both innate and adaptive responses.


Recently, a study was performed to evaluate the impact of caffeine intake on SLE activity and phenotype. Analyzing a large monocentric cohort identified an inverse correlation between caffeine consumption and disease activity!


The results suggest that a moderate caffeine intake could modulate disease activity and thus influence chronic damage. Indeed, researchers demonstrated that lower caffeine intake was associated with more frequent major organ involvement – such as renal and neuropsychiatric manifestations – and anti-dsDNA positivity. It means that:


  • Low caffeine intake was associated with more frequent significant organ involvement – such as renal and neuropsychiatric manifestations. A higher prevalence of lupus nephritis, neuropsychiatric involvement, hematological manifestations, hypocomplementemia, and anti-dsDNA positivity was observed.
  • Persons with a low intake of caffeine were more frequently treated with glucocorticoids.
  • Those with a high caffeine intake showed lower serum levels of cytokines, an indication of lower disease activity.


Let´s have a coffee?

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