Many coffee drinkers have feared they must stop drinking their daily cup (or cups) because of reported potential health risks. At best, the studies have been contradictory. At worst, they've just been downright confusing. But this week a study published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety reports that the health benefits of consuming the dark, hot, caffeinated drink likely outweigh any risks for adult coffee consumers.
Digging back into research from the 1970s to today, researchers at Ulster University in Northern Ireland examined over 1,200 studies on coffee's effects on the human body and overall health benefits or risks. They concluded that coffee consumed in moderation (on average three to four cups per day) does not affect human health when compared to non-coffee drinkers. They even claimed that coffee drinking can be mildly beneficial.
Of course, everything should be consumed in moderation, from coffee to alcohol, but drinking coffee has its perks, besides that delightful rise of energy. Previous studies claiming drinking coffee was detrimental to human health did not factor in extraneous factors that were seen among many heavy coffee drinkers. These factors may have included smoking, physical inactivity, and inadequate sleep, according to Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist.
This new comprehensive study covered a variety of potential health risks ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer when comparing the benefits and risks of java. They concluded that more studies will have to be done to fully quantify the balance between the risks and benefits. However, for now, coffee in moderation might be doing more good than harm for human health. Now, we'll take another cuppa!