Two new studies reveal that drinking coffee can have long term health benefits, and the more cups the better.
One study determined that drinking one cup of coffee daily reduced the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease by 12 percent, and by 18 percent for those drinking three cups a day.
The study responsible for these findings was led by Veronica W. Setiawan of the University of Southern California. The National Cancer Institute funded study followed 180,000 people of different races for an average of 16 years.
The second study, led by Marc J. Gunter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, was conducted by European scientists from Imperial College London and looked at more than 520,000 coffee drinkers across 10 European countries.
Both studies were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and asked participants about their coffee drinking habits, as well as health habits including smoking, exercise and heart disease.
The studies were observational and therefore demonstrate an association, rather than proving cause and effect. Previous studies conducted by Harvard University have reported drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, lower the risk of deadly prostate cancer in men, and reduce the risk of heart failure and skin cancer for people who drank 1-2 cups of coffee daily, according to the San Diego Tribune. The heart failure study showed benefits vanished at five cups a day and paved the way for potential damage. Other studies have found that coffee can protect liver health and reduce the risk of death from chronic liver damage.
Doctor Donald Hensrud says in an article on Mayo Clinic that “earlier studies didn’t always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers.”
Coffee may have reported health benefits, but it’s not necessarily safe for everyone. Studies found that high consumption of unfiltered coffee was associated with slightly higher cholesterol levels and people with slow caffeine metabolisms can have an increased risk of heart disease from drinking two or more cups of coffee daily.
When the body can’t process caffeine as quickly, it takes longer for the caffeine to get through the system and makes it more difficult for the body to reap the health benefits from the other elements of the drink. People with fast metabolisms are able to process the caffeine at a speed that allows them to reap the full benefits of the drink, and experience lower risk of heart disease.