Study: Drinking 3-4 Cups of Coffee a Day Linked to Longer Life
Good news for coffee drinkers: New research suggests that a daily java habit is more likely to help your health than harm it. That’s no small finding, considering that coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages on the planet — to the tune of two billion cups per day.
The lowdown on your coffee consumption
A review of more than 200 studies found that people who drink three to four cups of coffee per day have a lower risk of death and heart disease compared to those who drink none. Drinking coffee was also linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.
According to the findings, regular coffee drinkers had a 10% lower risk of death from all causes and a 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. They had an 18% lower risk of getting certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, leukemia and endometrial cancer; a 29% lower risk of liver disease; and a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study found that the health benefits were capped at three to four cups per day — drinking any more than that did not offer any additional protection. Those who did not see an overall benefit from a regular coffee habit were pregnant women and people prone to bone fractures. The study also revealed less overall evidence for decaf’s effects on health, however it did reveal similar benefits to caffeinated coffee on a number of outcomes.)
Limitations to the study
Because the study is a review of 200 existing studies, it’s impossible to say with certainty that coffee is the cause of these reduced health risks, and not simply a correlation. In other words, it could be that coffee drinkers also happen to engage in healthier habits that also confer health benefits. Still, observational studies such as these do offer valuable insights, since it is impossible to create a human study that controls for all nutritional and lifestyle factors.
These findings, combined with previous coffee research, suggest that moderate coffee consumption is safe for most people — and probably even beneficial. Past studies, for instance, have found that:
• Long-term coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes
• Coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer
• Caffeine protects against exercise-induced heart attacks
In the meantime, take this as added confirmation that you can go ahead and enjoy that brew. Check out our article on 15 ways to upgrade your coffee — for even more health benefits.
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