Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Study finds drinking coffee can cut risk of early death

Study finds drinking coffee can cut risk of early death

Listen up, coffee addicts: A new search says that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day might be good for you.

United Kingdom researchers analysed evidence from over 200 studies and found that drinking coffee each day is linked with a lower risk of developing heart disease and a lower risk of death, compared with drinking no coffee.

The study collated evidence from over 200 previous studies finding that three or four cups a day offers the greatest health benefits. Pregnant women and women at a higher risk of fracture should be excluded from such trials, they said. Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of several cancers, including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout, the researchers said. The best outcome was witnessed for liver conditions like cirrhosis of the liver. As a disclaimer, the researchers also said that people shouldn't drink coffee as a way to prevent disease or cure illnesses.

"Importantly, outside of pregnancy, existing evidence suggests that coffee could be tested as an intervention without significant risk of causing harm", he added. It apparently lowers risks of heart disease, premature death, and some cancers.

"I think now we can be reasonably reassured that overall, coffee drinking is a safe habit", Dr Eliseo Guallar, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, mentioned in his editorial which accompanied the study.

There also seemed to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson's disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease. To acquire an understanding of its effects on human health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at the University of Southampton in Britain, led an "umbrella review" of 218 studies around the world.

"Coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption", the researchers concluded in their study, published in the British Medical Journal on November 22.

According to research in the past, caffeine consumption has been linked to the body's ability to absorb calcium, which in turn affects bone mineral density, especially in women.

The researchers say coffee drinkers should stick to "healthy coffees" - which avoid extra sugar, milk or cream, or a fatty snack on the side. "As this study shows, some people may be at higher risk of adverse effects, he writes, and there is 'substantial uncertainty" about the effects of higher levels of intake. "Moderate coffee consumption seems remarkably safe, and it can be incorporated as part of a healthy diet by most of the adult population".

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