The next time the person ahead of you in the coffee line orders a ‘Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk,’ don’t chuckle……tell them order a few more! The latest research claims drinking three or four cups of coffee per day may be good for your health.
Drinking coffee is “more likely to benefit health than to harm it” for a range of health outcomes, say researchers in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal).
They bring together evidence from over 200 studies and find that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of death and getting heart disease compared with drinking no coffee. Coffee drinking is also associated with lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.
Time Magazine added, “The scientists, led by Robin Poole from the University of Southampton in the UK, learned that people who drank coffee were 17% less likely to die early during the study period from any cause, 19% less likely to die of heart disease and 18% less likely to develop cancer, compared to people who did not drink coffee.”
Other recent studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of heart disease, early death and diseases like liver cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes and even neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Poole’s group found that the strongest benefit occurred among people who drank around three cups of coffee a day.
CNBC.com tempered some of the enthusiasm over the new findings by pointing out, “Health experts warned people should not start drinking coffee, or increasing their intake, for health reasons. Too much coffee for women during pregnancy could also be harmful, the study said.”
And, according to BBC.com, “The researchers say coffee drinkers should stick to “healthy coffees” – which avoid extra sugar, milk or cream, or a fatty snack on the side.”
Finally, Forbes.com also looked at far coffee has come, from potential health risk to potential health benefit.
Coffee was once considered a potential carcinogen, but that concern has largely been abandoned, for lack of strong evidence. And a fast-growing number of studies, including the current one, suggest that coffee’s benefits far outweigh its risks, even for cancer. What does seem to pose a risk, at least for esophageal cancer, is drinking very hot beverages, coffee and tea alike.
But overall, the research is more welcome news for those of us who enjoy our daily cup, or four, of coffee.
We’d love to hear what you think about this latest study. Do you plan to up the amount of coffee you drink or do you think you get plenty as it is? And are you believer that there are health benefits to drinking three or four cups of Joe per day? Generating interesting and meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!