Drinking Coffee Actually Has Health Benefits, Study Finds

Toni Houston
November 25, 2017

While most researchers can not agree on a definitive list to detail the benefits of coffee, they point out that three cups a day is a safe bet. Scientists at the University of Southampton found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, as well as a lower risk of dying from stroke.

The rise of herbal tea and its benefits has put coffee at a disadvantage, thanks to the bean being blamed for a range of health issues - from hypertension and gout flare-ups to breast cysts and incontinence.

But they stressed their findings do not mean it is good for everyone.

However, women at risk of bone fractures and those who are pregnant may not derive the same health benefits from coffee, the research revealed.

There was less evidence for the effects of drinking decaffeinated coffee, but it had similar benefits, they said. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions, like cirrhosis.

Commenting on the BMJ review, Eliseo Guallar, from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said there was still uncertainty about the effects of higher levels of coffee intake. And, if you combined all of the research done on coffee and pooled together all of their conclusions, what would be the verdict?

Researchers at the University of Southampton collected data on coffee from more than 200 studies.

Coffee drinkers also appeared to have lower risks for heart disease.

The EU's food safety watchdog advised a daily limit of 400mg for adults in its first guidelines on caffeine intake in 2015. A high coffee intake was linked with an 18 percent decrease in cancer risk, compared with a low intake.

What amount of caffeine in my drink?

There are also links to birth defects. "Coffee is safe, but hold the cake", he writes. This is important to know because around the world over two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.

Now, scientists say coffee is more likely to help than harm you. Should people start drinking coffee for health reasons?

"Factors such as age, whether people smoked or not and how much exercise they took could all have had an effect", Professor Paul Roderick, co-author of the study, told BBC. Finally, coffee is often consumed with products rich in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, "and these may independently contribute to adverse health outcomes", he adds.

At present, the researchers said pinning down exactly how coffee might have a positive impact on health was "difficult".

Its use is thought to date back to 11th-century Ethiopia, where legend says a goat herder noticed his animals became energetic after eating the berries from a coffee tree.

New analysis shows the popular beverage is associated with a lower risk of death with the largest reduction in risk coming from three cups a day.

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