right amount of coffee helps, heart disease, cancer, liver disease and makes you live longer

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.

Too much coffee can contribute to insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and even heart disease. But the right amount of coffee is good for you, and especially for your liver. Coffee can prevent cirrhosis, liver stiffness, chronic liver disease and even liver cancer. It can also protect you from dying from cardiovascular disease if you have suffered a previous heart attack. Research has even shown that coffee drinkers live longer.

But, the research consistently points to a coffee sweet spot. If you want to benefit from coffee’s heath giving properties, you have to drink just the right amount. And that amount has pretty consistently been four or fewer cups a day. Beyond that amount, there seems to be no additional benefit, but the risk of death from any cause seems to go way up.

New research has added important information to the how much is enough and how much is too much debate. The first looked at how much is enough; the second looked at how much is too much.

So how much is enough? A meta-analysis of 40 studies of almost four million people. And what they found was consistent with the earlier two to four cups a day recommendation. Death from all causes dropped by 15% at 3.5 cups a day. Death from cardiovascular disease went down by 17% at 2.5 cups a day. And death from cancer nudged down by 4% at two cups a day. Drinking any more didn’t add any benefit (Eur J Epidemiol 2019;doi:10.1007/s10654-019-00524-3).

And how much is too much? When the coffee drinking habits of 347,077 people were analyzed, it was discovered that the ones who never drank coffee had an 11% higher risk of cardiovascular disease than the ones who drank one or two cups a day. But people who drank more than six cups a day had a 22% higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who kept it to one or two. This study again suggests that, while moderate coffee drinking is beneficial, going beyond a certain point reverses the benefit and harms you (Am J Clin Nutr 2019;109(3):509-16).

Remember, though, the benefit comes for the coffee, not from the bad stuff you add to it. So, you have to drink it black. When people added sugar, milk or coffee creamer, the coffee advantage is no longer statistically significant.

Also be careful of how big your cup is. Some of the research identified one cup as one cup: that is 250mL.

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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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