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Drinking coffee every day is a matter of course for most people. Many even drink a cup several times a day - but there is often uncertainty as to whether this could have negative effects on health. British scientists are now giving the all-clear. According to this, coffee drinkers who drink three to four cups of the hot beverage a day live even healthier. But there are exceptions in which larger quantities should be avoided.
Most people drink coffee every day
Many people cannot imagine a day without coffee. According to the German Coffee Association, almost every German citizen consumes the hot beverage - 80 percent of it daily, three out of five coffee drinkers even several times a day. But are several cups of coffee a day healthy? According to a study by British scientists, this may well be the case. Accordingly, three to four cups of coffee a day have many positive health effects and can even lower the risk of death. The study has now been published in the British Medical Journal.
Risk of death is lower than that of people who have abstained
The research team led by Dr. Robin Poole of the University of Southampton, together with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, reviewed more than 200 studies to better understand the effects of coffee consumption on health.
The experts came to an interesting result - especially for those who like to take a coffee break several times throughout the day. Accordingly, the hot drink is anything but unhealthy, rather drinking three to four cups of coffee a day means a generally lower risk of death and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases than if you drink little or no coffee.
Biggest advantage for liver diseases
Likewise, the risk of some types of cancer (e.g. prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer), type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout is reduced.
Favorable associations were also observed between coffee consumption and Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and depression. The scientists found the greatest advantage in liver diseases such as cirrhosis.
Benefits don't apply to everyone
But the positive effects do not apply to everyone equally. The researchers concluded that drinking coffee "is safe within normal consumption patterns, except during pregnancy and in women at increased risk of fracture," reports the University of Southampton in a recent announcement.
During pregnancy, increased coffee consumption increases the risk of premature and miscarriage, as well as a low birth weight of the child. Likewise, drinking coffee can be associated with a very slight increased risk of fracture in women.
Now the scientists are demanding robust, randomized, controlled trials "to understand whether the observed key associations are causal," the report said.
Do not drink coffee for medical reasons
In a linked editorial, Eliseo Guallar of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that the popular hot beverage should still be consumed wisely. Although we can assume that consumption is generally safe, doctors shouldn't recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease - and people shouldn't start drinking coffee for health reasons, the professor of epidemiology and medicine says, according to the University notice.
Moderate consumption as part of a healthy diet
As the study shows, some people may have a higher risk of side effects, Guallar writes. And there is "considerable uncertainty" about the effects of higher intake levels. After all, coffee is often consumed along with products that are rich in refined sugar and unhealthy fats (e.g. cakes, desserts, etc.), "and these can independently contribute to negative health effects," he adds.
Even with these reservations, however, "moderate coffee consumption appears to be remarkably safe and can be consumed by the majority of the adult population as part of a healthy diet," said Eliseo Guallar. (No)