MILAN – Drinking coffee may help reduce rosacea, according to a study approved by the institutional review board of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
The study analyzed health data from surveys provided to nearly 83,000 women over more than a decade and found that:
- Those drinking four or more cups of coffee per day were significantly less likely to report a diagnosis of rosacea than those who drank little or no coffee.
- Those drinking less than four cups each day were also less likely to have rosacea, though the protective effect was smaller.
- Consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not linked to a lower incidence of rosacea.
- Caffeine intake from other foods or beverages (such as chocolate or tea) had no impact on the likelihood of developing rosacea.
If other research can confirm the findings, the study could lead to a better understanding of why rosacea develops in some people and not in others. Because inflammation driven by the immune system is thought to play an important role in rosacea, insights into the development of this disease could extend to advances in other autoimmune disorders.
Finally, many people with rosacea who like coffee may avoid it because of the widespread notion that coffee will make it worse. The findings of this study suggest that’s not true.
However, as with all research of this type, there are limitations to consider. For example, this study
- only included women, most of whom were white — we’ll need additional studies of men and other ethnic groups to know if the findings extend widely.
- relied on health surveys and study participants’ memories regarding past diagnoses and diet; such survey data may not always be accurate.
- found a link between higher coffee consumption with lower risk of rosacea, but it cannot determine whether coffee consumption actually caused a reduction in rosacea.