A review of studies shows that coffee’s reputation as being unhealthy is undeserved, with the potential health benefits surprisingly large.
Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, has looked at a number of studies and assembled some interesting news for those of us who love coffee but have long been told that it is bad for us:
- Low risk of stroke: 11 studies totaling about 480,000 participants showed a lower risk of stroke for those consuming 2-6 cups per day vs. non-consumers
- Heart failure: it’s not until the 10+ cups per day level of consumption that an increase in heart failure is indicated
- Cancer: in some cases, such as prostate cancer, higher coffee consumption is not associated with negative outcomes; with breast cancer the link with drinking coffee is “statistically insignificant”; and with lung cancer outcomes are hard to parse out due to the influence of smoking
- Cirrhosis of the liver: Drinking coffee is associated with “better laboratory values” in those at risk
More good news:
Is coffee associated with the risk of death from all causes? There have been two meta-analyses published within the last year or so. The first reviewed 20 studies, including almost a million people, and the second included 17 studies containing more than a million people. Both found that drinking coffee was associated with a significantly reduced chance of death. I can’t think of any other product that has this much positive epidemiologic evidence going for it.