People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain. That’s according to a new review of research conducted at the University of Southampton in Britain.
The research also showed coffee consumption was linked to lower risks of diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers.
For the study, the research team in conducted an “umbrella review” of 201 studies based on observational research and 17 studies based on clinical trials across all countries and all settings.
“Umbrella reviews” synthesize previous pooled analyses to give a clearer summary of diverse research on a particular topic.
Three or four cups offered greatest benefit
Drinking coffee was consistently linked with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease. The largest reduction in relative risk of premature death is seen in people consuming three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Three or four cups a day confer the greatest benefit, except for women who are pregnant or who have a higher risk of suffering fractures.
Drinking more than three cups a day was not linked to harm, but the beneficial effects were less pronounced.
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 greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver.
The team noted that because the review included mainly observational data, no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect. However, the findings support other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake.
Source: BMJ, November 22, 2017.
Who should limit coffee intake
Coffee isn’t for everyone. If you have heartburn or reflux disease (GERD), your morning brew – regular and decaf – can bring on symptoms.
If you’re pregnant, drinking too much coffee could increase the risk of miscarriage. That’s why Health Canada advises women of childbearing age to consume no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, the amount found in roughly two eight ounce cups of coffee.
It’s also prudent to limit your caffeine intake if you have low bone density or osteoporosis. Consuming more than 450 milligrams of caffeine per day can rob your bones of calcium if your diet’s lacking the mineral.
And it's wise to cut back on caffeine if you have high blood pressure or insomnia.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.