moderate coffee consumption is healthy but too much is bad for you

Coffee can be really good for you, or it can be really bad for you. So, how much is enough, and how much is too much?

Recent research has redeemed coffee and transformed it from a bad habit to a health food. But, there is a sweet spot for coffee: the right amount is good for you; too much is too much caffeine, and it becomes really bad for you.

So how much is too much?

There’s an upside to moderate coffee drinking. Coffee has many benefits, perhaps especially for your liver. Drinking one or two cups a day reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment in seniors. It can benefit cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and prevent gallstones.

Coffee may also help you to live longer. A cup a day decreases premature mortality by 12%. At two t three cups a day, the benefit jumps to 18%. Additional cups beyond three offered no increase in benefit. A huge European study also found that coffee drinkers reduce their risk of death from several causes. Coffee drinkers risk of dying prematurely from any cause was 7% lower for women and 12% lower for men. There was a 59% reduction in risk of dying from digestive diseases in men and a 40% reduction in women. There was a 22% reduction in risk of death from circulatory disease in women and a 30% reduction from cerebrovascular disease. The one negative for women was a 31% increase in risk of dying from ovarian cancer. Remember, though, that overall they had a 7% lower risk of dying from all conditions combined.

Other research has also found that coffee drinking can protect people who have already suffered a heart attack. Risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or ischemic heart disease goes down by 20-30% if you have suffered a previous heart attack.

But, there seems to be a coffee sweet spot a suggested by several of these studies, including the study that found no additional benefit from the fourth cup: drink the right amount, and you receive these benefits for your liver, your brain and your heart; drink too much, and it backfires. At about four cups a day, the risk of dying from any cause goes up. People who drink six cups a day have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

And now brand new research has reinforced that firm six cup limit. The study looked at data from 333,214 people from the UK. It analyzed the association between “habitual coffee consumption,” for which they used six cups a day as the measure, and “the full range of disease outcomes.” They found a 23% increase in the risk of osteoarthritis, a 22% increase in other joint diseases and a 28% increase in the risk of being overweight (Cin Nutr 2020;doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2020.03.009).

Moderate coffee drinking may also help prevent death from cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

There are a couple of important thing to remember when you drink your cup of coffee. Most importantly, If you want the health benefits, you have to drink it black. When people added sugar, milk or coffee creamer, the coffee advantage is no longer statistically significant.

And, although cold brew coffee is becoming popular, it has less of the health giving antioxidants than hot brewed coffee.

The growing body of research suggests that drinking two to three cups of black coffee a day is actually good for you if there is no reason for you to be avoiding caffeine: coffee can be a health food. At the fourth cup, though, the health food can become a harmful food. At six cups, the habit becomes even worse.

So, enjoy your coffee. But enjoy it black, and enjoy it in moderation.


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For comprehensive help with healthy eating, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now. Linda’s clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

 

The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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