Alright, so we all know that twenty years ago we were told eggs were bad and now we’re meant to eat two a day so science is a moveable feast but I’ll take this one; Three cups of coffee a day lowers the risks of death and heart disease. Cheers, make mine a double shot soy cap.
Even better, this isn’t just one survey, some clever coffee lover has reviewed more than 200 studies to come to this conclusion. Coffee is now firmly in the “more likely to benefit than harm” category. Sorry if you’re pregnant, you have to wait a while.
The study is published in The British Medical Journal no less, not Dr Google or any other dubious online journal, and confirms what us two-heart-starters before breakfast coffee-heads have always known in our palpitating hearts. Drinking three to four cups of a coffee a day is linked to a lower risk of death and getting heart disease compared to abstaining from coffee. Take that green tea drinking ‘health conscious’ people!
Here’s the full nine wonderful yards of conclusions for you to enjoy over your next caffeine hit. What the authors wrote, God bless ’em;
“The conclusion of benefit associated with coffee consumption was supported by significant associations with lower risk for the generic outcomes of all cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and total cancer. Consumption was associated with a lower risk of specific cancers, including prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and liver cancer. Consumption also had beneficial associations with metabolic conditions including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, gout, and renal stones and for liver conditions including hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis, cirrhosis mortality, and chronic liver disease combined. The beneficial associations between consumption and liver conditions stand out as consistently having the highest magnitude compared with other outcomes across exposure categories. Finally, there seems to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
OK, I’m no scientist but clearly the coffee bean is the wonder food discovery of the millennia! Goji berries, broccoli, kale, you can all kiss coffee’s … err saucer? The authors discovered that the biggest reduction in risk of death was three cups a day compared with non-coffee drinkers. Four cups did not deliver a significant increase in benefit.
Amazingly, the study could not conclude the why, but hypothesises that its bioactive compounds are kicking the goals. “Coffee contains a complex mixture of bioactive compounds with plausible biological mechanisms for benefiting health. It has been shown to contribute a large proportion of daily intake of dietary antioxidant, greater than tea, fruit, and vegetables.”
Oh that is so sweet, that quote again… “dietary antioxidant, greater than tea, fruit, and vegetables.” I always knew those three things were overrated. Sadly, the study did not conclude if the occasional chocky eclair or almond croissant increases the effect.
Coffee doesn’t agree with everyone (all the more for us that love it!) and the authors admit more research is needed to be sure the key associations so far observed are definitely caused by coffee.
But now we know there is “no consistent evidence of harmful associations between coffee consumption and health outcomes,” we can feel justified in the face of those who look disapprovingly on us returning to our desks, our cardboard coffee cup held aloft, loyalty apps ticking towards our next free cup of the elixir of long life.