A European study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases provides evidence that drinking coffee is associated with healthy kidney function. Data on nearly 228,000 people were included in the analysis, which found that drinking higher amounts of coffee was associated with a lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD). Recommendations on how much coffee (and what kind) cannot be drawn from a study of this type.
CKD affects around 10 percent of the global population. What it is about habitual coffee drinking that might help kidney function is unknown. Coffee drinking, decaf or regular, may ensure adequate fluid intake; caffeine itself may help to keep the vessels of the kidneys dilated; and a number of noncaffeine chemical constitutes in coffee are known to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are players in the onset and progression of CKD.
More research, including randomized controlled trials, is needed to prove that coffee really does benefit kidney health, and if so, what type of coffee. Coffee lovers can take heart in yet another association between their beverage-of-choice and good health, but these data do not suggest non-coffee drinkers should start or that the potential benefits of coffee provide a free pass on adding lots of sugar and cream.