Coffee consumption emerges as beneficial for public health

Brandon Parsons
November 25, 2017

The research examined more than 200 previous studies on coffee drinkers and determined that those who consumed coffee regularly had lower risks of premature death, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, dementia, some cancers, type two diabetes and liver disease.

The results uncovered that three or four cups every day was the optimum number as it was associated with a 17 per cent reduced chance of death compared to people who drink none.

However, they say drinking coffee in pregnancy may be associated with harms, and may be linked to a very small increased risk of fracture in women.

The research team was led by Dr Robin Poole, Specialist Registrar in Public Health at the University of Southampton, with collaborators from the University of Edinburg. One eight-ounce cup of coffee typically has between 95 and 165mg of caffeine in it, according to the Mayo Clinic, but tea, energy drinks, soda, and foods like chocolate also contain caffeine - so make sure you're being mindful of your total intake.

Or, conversely, how much is not enough if you want to harness those supposed health benefits?

Now, four cups per day isn't considered excessive coffee drinking and more in the moderate range, but it is still a pretty sizable amount. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver. In other words, it might be that healthier people also drink coffee, but the review's findings suggest that there are more positive effects than negative ones.

However, the authors caution that most existing studies on the benefits of coffee are "of lower quality", as they are merely observational and do not explain causality.

"The evidence is so robust and consistent across studies and health outcomes, however, that we can be reassured that drinking coffee is generally safe", he continues.

However, it's worth noting that drinking a lot of coffee can also be detrimental to your health.

Until recently people were warned against drinking more than a few cups of coffee a day, for fear that it might cause cancer. "Does coffee prevent chronic disease and reduce mortality?"

"There is an adjust of dangers in life, and the advantages of moderate utilization of coffee appear to exceed the dangers", he said.

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