Does Coffee Aggravate Arthritis?

“Coffee related to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Strange to hear.RIGHT!!” But according to a Finnish research study, coffee can aggravate the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Coffee induces the production of Rheumatoid Factor. As intake of coffee increases the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis also increase.


Have you ever thought that the coffee you drink can cause Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? NO, right!! According to the Finnish research study coffee has the potential to lead torheumatoid arthritis. Researchers discovered the link between the presence of rheumatoid factor (RF) and coffee consumption. The study suggests that the risk of RA increases with the number of coffee cups drunk daily.

What is Rheumatoid Factor?

Now you must be thinking what Rheumatoid Factor is? Rheumatoid Factor (RF) is an autoantibody present in the blood of rheumatoid arthritic patients. RF can contribute to the development of Rheumatoid arthritis (RF positive RA). Approximately 1% of the total rheumatoid arthritic population is affected due to RF. RA due to RF can result in a permanent disability. In rare cases it can even affect major body organs resulting in life threatening situations.

What Does the Research Say?

The research study was conducted by the National Public Health Institute of Helsinki. The research involved 2 large studies: one study monitored approximately 19,000 people for 15 years and the other conducted a cross-sectional survey of 7,000 people. The research findings were published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Journal. The research study says that people drinking more than 4 cups of coffee daily are at a higher risk of developing RA.

Since years scientists assumed that environmental and genetic factors were the main cause for the development of RA. This research study’s finding has added one more factor that can cause RA. The researchers suspect the presence of an unidentified substance in coffee which triggers the production of RF. They also found that the coffee which is not filtered might increases the risk of RA development. Interestingly there was no connection found between RF negative RA and coffee consumption. RF negative RA contributes to 20% of the total RA patients.

19,000 people who were monitored for 15 years had no signs of arthritis when initially tested. Researchers found that the risk of RA was doubled in the people who drank more than 5 cups of coffee daily. When the researchers studied other risk factors like gender, age, weight and smoking then also they obtained the same result. Researchers also found that people who drank more than 11 cups of coffee daily the chances of being RF positive were 15 times higher as compared to non-coffee drinkers.


According to the spokesperson of the research study “Drinking a lot of coffee does not mean you are going to develop rheumatoid arthritis – there are many other factors to be taken into account. The spokesperson added that, “It cannot be concluded whether the associations between coffee consumption and rheumatoid factor were due to coffee exposure, or some lifestyle and dietary factors closely linked with it.” RA is a complicated disease and involves a large number of interactions between environmental and genetic factors. So there is no harm in taking 1 cup of coffee in a day but, it is always better to keep your coffee intake in moderation.

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