Moderate Coffee Drinking More Likely to Benefit Health

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Moderate Coffee Drinking More Likely to Benefit Health

Regular consumption of americanos, lattes or frothy cappucinos is associated with a lower risk of death and heart disease compared to not drinking the black stuff at all.

But it's not all doom and gloom for coffee lovers.

The protection was greatest for liver and bowel tumours.

There also seemed to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson's disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

However, they said that drinking coffee in pregnancy may be associated with harms, and may be linked to a very small increased risk of fracture in women.

The researchers concluded that coffee drinking "seems safe within usual patterns of consumption, except during pregnancy and in women at increased risk of fracture". To acquire an understanding of its effects on human health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at the University of Southampton in Britain, led an "umbrella review" of 218 studies around the world.

The study found that compared to non-coffee drinkers, those who consumed three cups of coffee each day appeared to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with heart problems.

As a disclaimer, the researchers also said that people shouldn't drink coffee as a way to prevent disease or cure illnesses.

"Factors such as age, whether people smoked or not and how much exercise they took could all have had an effect", Professor Paul Roderick, co-author of the study, told BBC.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, concludes several cups a day are "more likely to benefit health than to harm it".

Gender also influences the effects of coffee. "That may be a simple question, but as with most things dietary related, there isn't a simple answer", said Dr Amelia Lake of Teesside University.

"Mothers-to-be need not panic but might want to limit their coffee consumption to two cups per day in line with the recent European guidelines on caffeine".

Experts said it is impossible to know whether the health lift it due to the coffee or other habits that are more common amongst drinkers.

Finally, coffee is often consumed with products rich in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, "and these may independently contribute to adverse health outcomes", he added.

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