Health | November 23, 2017
The day hasn’t really started until you’ve had your morning coffee. For those of us who work long hours, that 8am cup is just the first of many. If we could, we’d walk around with an Americano intravenous drip. ‘You’re drinking too much!’ our friends cry. ‘It can’t be good for you to drink so much coffee, can it?’ Well, worried friend, it now looks it might be. Because a large review of previous studies, published in the British Medical Journal, claims that supping three to four cups of the stuff might actually be beneficial to our health. It’s been found to lower the risk of liver disease and some cancers, as well as reducing the chance of dying from stroke. So, what’s the evidence for this? Researchers from the University of Southampton collected data on the impact of coffee on the body, looking at more than 200 studies – many of which were observational. Compared to non-coffee drinkers, those who knocked back around three cups a day appeared to reduce their risk of developing heart problems and liver disease.
But co-author Professor Paul Roderick says that it’s not too clear what role coffee in particular had on the results. ‘Factors such as age, whether people smoked or not and how much exercise they took could all have had an effect,’ he says. But he does think that coffee seems to carry legitimate health benefits; after all, this is just the latest in a number of recent reviews concluding that coffee can reduce certain disease risks.
‘There is a balance of risks in life and the benefits of moderate consumption of coffee seems to outweigh the risks,’ he concludes. The study also states that too much coffee during pregnancy can be harmful and that taking up coffee simply to reap the health benefits probably isn’t worth doing. But if you’re already a caffeine fiend, rest assured that your habit might helping you out.