Three cups of coffee a day offers 'greatest benefit' to health

Three of four cups of coffee could be healthy for your rather than harmful says a study. REUTERS

Three of four cups of coffee could be healthy for your rather than harmful says a study. REUTERS

"The link between coffee drinking and reduced risk of development of heart failure and stroke was consistently noted in all three studies", said lead author of the project Dr. Laura Stevens.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times.

In the BMJ-British Medical Journal, the research done by the Poole's team is published which concludes that the coffee intake is apparently safe if done within the usual patterns.

They said coffee drinking is also associated with lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.

"I think now we can be reasonably reassured that overall, coffee drinking is a safe habit", Dr Eliseo Guallar, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, mentioned in his editorial which accompanied the study.

To better understand the effects of the most commonly consumed beverage on health, the research reviewed aggregated data from 201 studies that also included clinical trials across all countries.

Listen up, coffee addicts: A new search says that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day might be good for you. Numerous included studies may have adjusted for factors that may be associated with both the health outcome and with coffee drinking, such as smoking. Women seem to benefit more than men with higher levels of consumption if factors like mortality from cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases are considered.

The study collated evidence from over 200 previous studies finding that three or four cups a day offers the greatest health benefits.

Gender also influences the effects of coffee.

Further research may now be needed to determine whether the relationship highlighted by this study is a causal one.

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

Dr Amelia Lake, Reader in Public Health Nutrition at Teesside University, added: "Coffee can be part of a healthy balanced diet".

However researchers warned that drinking too much could be harmful during pregnancy or to those with a higher risk of suffering fractures.

"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".

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