Moderate coffee drinking could be good for you, says new research

Go on have that second or third or fourth cup. Getty Images

Go on have that second or third or fourth cup. Getty Images

A new study says drinking three to four coffees a day is likely to do more good than harm. According to the study, regularly drinking three cups of coffee reduces risk of cirrhosis in 70% and liver cancer by 40%. Diabetes, dementia and some cancers.

For the study, researchers analysed evidence from over 200 studies and found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of early death and getting heart disease compared with drinking none at all.

Coffee is the most loved and desired drink consumed throughout the world.

There are some exceptions - my sympathies go out to women who are pregnant or at risk of fracture.

The research team was led by Dr Robin Poole, Specialist Registrar in Public Health at the University of Southampton, with collaborators from the University of Edinburg.

It contains a number of wonder compounds which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic properties which scientists believe might explain why drinkers experience lower rates of chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

'Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of over 1,000 bioactive compounds, some with potentially therapeutic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, or anticancer effects, ' they wrote. In other words, it might be that healthier people also drink coffee, but the review's findings suggest that there are more positive effects than negative ones.

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Most of the evidence, however, is from observational studies, which can only find probable associations but can't prove cause and effect. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions, like cirrhosis. But existing evidence is of lower quality from observational research and randomised controlled trials are needed to strengthen the evidence of benefits.

The drink is more likely to ward off disease than to cause harm, according to the most comprehensive report yet conducted.

Roasting coffee beans and drinking the ground results dates back to the 15th century, a practice that has become increasingly popular in modern Ireland but that often raises concerns for potential health implications.

In a linked editorial, Eliseo Guallar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said while we can be assured coffee is generally safe, doctors should not recommend drinking it to prevent disease and people should not start for perceived health benefits.

But even if there's still a lot we don't know about the link between coffee and our health, this new study offers a wide array of other avenues to explore.

All in all, however, the benefits seem to outweigh the risks.

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