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Alright, Once Again: Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You?

Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2018 by Gene Moen

Not a week goes by when we don’t hear information about certain foods or other substances hurt or help our health. Coffee and alcohol are the big ones, with some articles warning us about too much or too little of either. The latest research, from England, was reported in November, 2017 in MedPage Today. The overall conclusion was that daily consumption of coffee is not only safe, but likely to benefit health.

The research analyzed more than 200 studies, and the researchers concluded that drinking three or four cups of coffee a day reduces overall mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the studies showed a reduced incidence of cancer, and a lower risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis, and liver cirrhosis as well as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

The numerous studies that were analyzed found no consistent evidence of harmful effects from coffee consumption, except for some related to pregnancy and fracture risk in women. Coffee consumption was associated with low birth weight, preterm birth, and pregnancy loss. In women there was an association between age and coffee consumption in terms of risk of fracture.

The authors of the meta-analysis cautioned that much of the evidence cited in the studies was low quality. Randomized trials may be needed to be more certain about the health impact of caffeine consumption, but the high cost of such studies coupled with the large sample size required may complicate the possibility of doing such studies. Nonetheless, the analysis seemed to support that coffee consumption, possibly optimized at 3-4 cups a day, is unlikely to result in significant harm to those who indulge. Good news for Starbucks!

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