Research: Moderate coffee consumption safe and improves health
Coffee is my favorite drink. I truly think it is the nectar of the gods. It is one of the most perfect drinks. I have written many posts on coffee. I write about coffee and reduced mortality, weight loss, metabolic syndrome, and safety. I found another good meta-analysis today that specifically look at safety or the risk of harm of coffee consumption. This is important because prior studies have resulted in conflicting results.
The study was published in January of 2018 in the British Medical Journal. The meta-analysis examined the benefit versus harm of coffee consumption. The UK researchers authors looked at the results of a group of meta-analyses published up to 2017 to determine the associations between coffee consumption and any health outcome in adults. This study included data from the meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials that looked at a large number of potential health outcomes to determine a link between adverse or beneficial outcomes and coffee consumption. Coffee consumption at moderate levels of 3-4 cups per day was associated with a decreased risk of harm when compared to zero consumptions. In particular, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular disease have the greatest risk reduction by 17%, 19%, and 15%, respectively. Coffee was also associated with statistically significant protective effects against each of the following diseases: type 2 diabetes, renal stones, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, leukemia, gout, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and endometrial cancer. The only significant harms found included lung cancer, urinary tract cancer, pregnancy loss, low birth weight, preterm birth, acute leukemia in childhood, and fracture risk in women.
The bottom line: Moderate levels of coffee consumption appear to be safe and likely even beneficial in all but pregnant patients and in women at an increased fracture risk. This is a study of observational trials so we cannot prove causality. More research is needed, but as long as you tolerate the caffeine and taste, I cannot think a reason other then these two to recommend against coffee consumption. I, for one, will continue to have a few cups in the morning.