Coffee Is Officially Good For You (Again)

Coffee

The pendulum of scientific opinion swings pretty dramatically when it comes to the effect (if any) coffee has on our health.

But now a review of 200 separate studies has shown even three or four cups a day is still more likely to benefit your health than harm it. Woohoo!

There are some exceptions - my sympathies go out to women who are pregnant or at risk of fracture.

The researchers concluded that drinking coffee on the reg resulted in a lower risk of heart disease and even death compared with drinking no coffee at all. They also found that drinking coffee lowered the risk of some cancers (including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer), type 2 diabetes, gallstones, gout, liver disease and dementia.

There also seemed to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

There was less evidence for the effects of drinking decaffeinated coffee but it had similar benefits for a number of outcomes. Increasing consumption to above three cups a day was not associated with harm, but the beneficial effect was less pronounced.

But - it is important to note - the studies used mainly observational data, which means lower quality evidence, which means no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. The findings do back up other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake, though.

So the official line is "coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption, except during pregnancy and in women at increased risk of fracture", and testing in randomised trials should happen now to strengthen the evidence of benefits.

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.

Eliseo Guallar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says although we can be reassured that coffee intake is generally safe, doctors should not recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease - and people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons.

[BMJ]

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Comments

    I dunno, anything that is so addictive, that my friends can't skip it for a day without serious headaches, mood swings and severe cravings, doesn't seem like a good thing.
    I've been wondering of late if the seeming increase in aggression levels has anything to do with the higher levels of coffee consumption, especially as most cafes in my area now put over twice as much coffee in 'a cup' as they did a few years ago, meaning that people's 3 or 4 cups a day are in reality 6-10 cups a day.

      Kind of but not quite - they still pull a single shot of coffee in most cases - you just get more milk, not more actual coffee. So bigger coffee but not more of the active ingredient unless you pay for extra shots.

        Nearly all the places I work at now do double-shots as their standard 'single' coffee. Don't know if it is just this town, but it has become standard.

      As with all things, moderation and self control is key.

      I used to have a cup at 730am when I got to work, a 2nd at 9am and 3rd with lunch, then a 4th about 430pm when I got home. I was getting headaches on days without coffee, cravings etc.

      I switched it up and cut back, now I make sure my first isn't before 9am as it interferes with your body's natural waking cycle, and have a 2nd at lunch and that's it. No more caffeine for the day, I sleep well, and on days where I don't have coffee I don't get headaches or any cravings.

      I make my own coffee rather than buying from a cafe, this saves money and helps me control the amount of coffee in my cup.

      I would guess that increased aggression is more likely caused by drugs like ice than coffee, coffee can reduce irritability!

    They also found that drinking coffee lowered the risk of some cancers (including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer), type 2 diabetes, gallstones, gout, liver disease and dementia.

    There was some statistical correlation, but causation is certainly not shown, have to be careful when reporting this kind of thing, otherwise you end up with stuff like more shooters tend to be ten-pin bowlers kind of correlations.

      "But - it is important to note - the studies used mainly observational data, which means lower quality evidence, which means no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. The findings do back up other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake, though."

    A little off topic but anyone who orders skinny milk drinks should check out if the barista actually uses it or not.

    I got told that skinny milk is harder to work with as it 'burns' easier and doesn't look as pretty on top, so most baristas will just use full cream and not tell you!

      You know someone who has spoken to most of the worlds baristas to confirm this?

        Can confirm i'll usually just use full cream, especially if I'm making multiple coffees at once (which is usually the case)

    It makes me throw up at times. I drink it sometimes but I'm not a fan. Rather have tea any day

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