Coffee linked to premature death, study says

While numerous studies tout the many health benefits associated with drinking coffee, new research is showing it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

A new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings revealed that drinking 28 cups of coffee or more a week – four cups or more per day – can increase a person’s chances of dying by 21 percent, Medical Daily reported.  And for men under the age of 55 drinking this amount of coffee, their chances of prematurely dying of any cause increased to 56 percent.  For women, the increase was twofold.

According to the researchers, the findings add to the confusion already surrounding the caffeinated beverage.

"There continues to be considerable debate about the health effects of caffeine, and coffee specifically, with some reports suggesting toxicity and some even suggesting beneficial effects," study co-author Dr. Carl Lavie, a cardiology researcher at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, said in a statement.

Lavie and her team tracked 43,727 men and women over the course of 17 years, conducting in-person interviews and medical examinations that analyzed blood chemistry, electrocardiography, blood pressure and more.  During the study period, 2,512 people died, and the researchers noted a significant link between high coffee consumption and mortality.

“On the basis of these findings, it seems appropriate to suggest that younger people avoid heavy coffee consumption,” the authors wrote.

According to the National Coffee Drinking Study from the National Coffee Association, 83 percent of American adults consume coffee every day.

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