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One more cup of coffee before I go? PDF Print Email

It seems like drinking three or four cups of coffee a day may have health benefits. Is this just another study into coffee consumption?  They seem to be frequent with conflicting conclusions.  This latest study was by the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh and while it stressed you should not start drinking coffee for health benefits the research was comprehensive and fairly positive for moderate drinkers.


There have been recent studies that suggested people who drank several cups of coffee a day tended to live longer but this research looked at over 200 studies and found that about three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of heart problems, liver disease and some cancer.


If you are pregnant coffee consumption should be reduced or avoided altogether as it was linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, low birth weight ad pre-term birth.


The conclusions from analysing all the other studies were:

high coffee consumption had benefits in 19 health outcomes and harmful effects in six health outcomes

For the other outcomes investigated no conclusive results could be drawn.

Some of the benefits found included:

A 10% reduced risk of death for those who drank more rather than less coffee

A 18% lower risk of getting most cancers for people who drank more rather than less coffee

A 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (for example heart attack or stroke) for people who regularly drank coffee against those who never did

A 29% lower risk of fatty liver disease not related to alcohol for people who drank coffee compared to those that didn’t

A 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes for people who drank more compared to less coffee


The effects of a high coffee consumption and beneficial outcomes were identified as best for liver disease, liver cancer, death after heart attack, leukaemia and gout.

The results are mostly positive and it certainly appears a few cups of coffee a day will do you any harm but far more detail and analysis of the variables is needed in the studies to make some definite statements of health benefits or otherwise.