Health: Is coffee a poison or a medicine?

Health: Is coffee a poison or a medicine?

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Coffee extends life and protects against heart diseases

Despite its popularity, coffee has long been considered harmful to health. The caffeine-containing stimulant was said to have nerve-damaging, heart-stressing and stomach-irritating effects. A comprehensive meta-analysis of many coffee studies now largely frees the supposed culprit and even shows health benefits that can arise through regular coffee consumption - up to a life-prolonging effect.

"Three coffees a day keep you away from the grave," might be a future saying when you look at the results of the analysis. Because, according to the scientists, drinking coffee is more of a health benefit than a harm. Drinking three to four cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of premature mortality, heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, liver disease, and dementia. The results of the meta-analysis were recently published in the "BMJ" journal.

An analysis that unites all studies

In order to better understand the effects of coffee consumption on health, the team led by Dr. Robin Poole of the University of Southampton together with staff from the University of Edinburgh performed a meta-analysis on 201 studies. Overall, the researchers were able to determine from the evaluated data that the health benefits of a normal coffee consumption outweighed.

Too much coffee weakens the positive aspects

Drinking coffee was consistently associated with a generally lower risk of death and a lower risk of all heart diseases. This effect was greatest as long as regular consumption did not exceed three cups a day, the researchers report. Excessive consumption weakens the positive aspects.

Coffee as a cure?

According to the analysis, coffee is also associated with a lower risk of various types of cancer, including prostate, uterine, skin and liver cancer. In addition, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout decreases. The greatest benefit has been seen in liver diseases such as cirrhosis. In addition, the researchers report favorable associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson's, depression and Alzheimer's.

The safe maximum daily dose

Coffee drinkers often ask themselves how much coffee can be safely consumed per day. The safe maximum daily dose recommended by the researchers is around 400 milligrams of caffeine. This corresponds to about 700 ml of filter coffee or three espresso.

Other advantages of coffee

The analysis currently being carried out is not the first scientific investigation into the positive effects of coffee. Earlier studies suggested that coffee is healthier than is often thought. Examples of health benefits include:

  • Cinnamon and coffee help you lose weight,
  • relieving headaches from coffee with lemon
  • and the digestive effect, because coffee can stimulate digestion.

Beware of pregnancies

The authors of the study conclude that drinking coffee is safe with normal consumption habits. However, pregnant women are an exception. According to the analysis, coffee is associated with various health problems during pregnancy.

Coffee should not be generally recommended

"Although the results of the analysis show that coffee is generally safe, doctors should not advise drinking coffee," said Eliseo Guallar, director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a press release regarding the study results. In his opinion, people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons.

German nutritionists sum up the results

"As a result, it was shown that the relative risk of death in people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day was significantly lower than in non-coffee drinkers," summarizes Professor Christian Sina, head of the Institute of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Lübeck Analysis results against the news agency dpa. The coffee drinkers from the studies were less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases and there were 18 percent fewer cancer cases, the expert said.

No general recommendation for drinking coffee

"Before everyone euphorically pours coffee into themselves, it should be said that it is difficult to derive general recommendations from such studies," "Three to four cups a day should not harm most people," said Sina. In addition, coffee is often consumed with products that are rich in refined sugar and unhealthy fats that can contribute to negative health outcomes regardless of coffee. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: Is Coffee Bad for You? Dr. Josh Axe (August 2022).