Research suggests a regular coffee habit can reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes.
- Drinking too much coffee can cause insomnia, restlessness, or a fast heartbeat, especially if consumed too fast.
- But most research on coffee consumption indicates that coffee is not bad for us and suggests even people who drink more than five or six cups a day seem to be far healthier than people who drink little or none.
- Research suggests a regular coffee habit can reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes.
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world — for good reason. It wakes us up, helps us stay on task, and provides an extra energy boost.
Most people in the Americas and Europe get a caffeine fix from coffee.
But people often worry that they should limit their coffee consumption or cut it out completely. That’s probably because coffee can feel like a crutch.
It is possible to overdo it on caffeine —many heavy coffee drinkers surpass the recommended limit of 400 mg of caffeine per day, and that can cause insomnia, restlessness, or a fast heartbeat, especially if consumed too fast.
But most research on coffee consumption indicates that coffee is not bad for us, and is associated with some pretty impressive health benefits. Even people who drink lots of coffee, more than five or six cups a day, seem to be far healthier than people who drink little or none.
In most cases we can’t say that coffee actually causes health benefits — the causal mechanism is unclear. But research does suggest that coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from certain illnesses.
There are plenty of foods and drinks that most of us should consume less. But you shouldn’t worry about your coffee habit. Here’s why.
- Liver Health: A review that combined the result of nine studies found that drinking more coffee is associated with lower risk of cirrhosis.
In the review of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, drinking one cup of coffee per day was shown to be linked with a 22% reduced risk for cirrhosis, a liver disease that is often caused by heavy alcohol consumption. Two daily cups were associated with a 43% reduced risk, three cups with 57% reduced risk, and four cups with 65% reduced risk.
- Cancer: Multiple reviews have found that drinking coffee daily can reduce cancer risk.
In the European Journal of cancer Prevention one review found that heavy coffee drinkers (who had at least three cups per day) had an 18% reduced risk for cancer.
Another review found people who drink two to two and a half cups of coffee daily had a 4% reduced risk of cancer in general, and yet another found that at least one cup per day was associated with 15% reduced risk for liver cancer and an 8% reduced risk for endometrial cancer.
Some data indicates that coffee drinkers may be less likely to suffer from oral/pharyngeal cancer and advanced prostate cancer as well.
- Alzheimer’s diseases and dementia: A meta analysis of studies about coffee intake and brain health calculated that regular coffee drinkers were approximately 16% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia or cognitive decline.
From the Journal of Alzheimer’s Diseases, European Journal of Neurology, there are smaller studies that suggest drinking coffee can lead to even bigger reductions in one’s risk for Alzheimer’s as well.
- Depression: One large study of more than 50,000 women showed that drinking at least one cup of coffee each week was associated with 15% reduced risk of depression. Drinking two to three cups per day was associated with 20% reduced risk.
According to JAMA Internal Medicine, The world Journal of Biological Psychiatry, another study that looked at more than 100,000 men and women found that coffee drinkers were 45% less likely to die from suicide. Those results suggested that heavy coffee drinkers (those who had four or more cups per day) were 53% less likely to die from suicide.