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Coffee Has A Number: Drinking 3-4 Cups A Day Shows Less Risk Of Heart Disease, Some Cancers

Coffee benefits for heat and cancer

If you are one to enjoy a few cups of coffee a day, drink up, because there is encouraging news out of England suggesting that not only is drinking coffee good for you, but the optimal number of cups imbibed per day (on average, of course) for leading a more healthy - and more lengthy - existence has been ascertained. Research suggests that drinking three to four cups of coffee daily has numerous health benefits, as opposed to those who abstain from drinking the dark rejuvenator at all.


Forbes reports that a recent study released from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has concluded that drinking coffee, something that the website Statistic Brain says some 100 million people in the United States do every day, has been determined to be far more beneficial than detrimental to healthy living, including general heart health. In fact, the most salient finding was that drinking as many as three or four cups of coffee a day — in comparison to those who did not drink coffee at all — not only decreased one’s chances of dying from any tracked causative means, but it also seemed to correlate with less chance of developing heart disease.

The research, an umbrella study that encompassed a perusal of meta-analyses data studies conducted over the years, provided an in-depth picture showing the relationship between coffee drinking and health.

The question, given coffee’s history of being deemed at least not overly unhealthy in the past, has been: How much is just right and how much is too much? According to the study, the number rests somewhere between three and four cups.

Drinking Coffee vs Abstaining from Coffee

Additionally, the findings suggest that drinking coffee is perhaps more beneficial than abstaining in some regards, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and psychological and neurological disorders. Also, it was determined that drinking more than four cups of coffee on a daily basis does not come with detrimental effects of over-indulgence and seemed to affect coffee drinkers no more or less than having three or four cups a day. But three or four cups was the average that appeared to correlate with the more beneficial attributes of drinking coffee.

Along with the reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, coffee was also linked to a reduction in incidences of metabolic syndrome, kidney stones, and gout. The list of health benefits associated with the popular beverage was a reduction in the number of types of cancer among drinkers: endometrial, skin, prostate and liver cancer. Among the most promising findings was those drinkers gaining the most benefit were their reduced risk of being susceptible to liver diseases, including cirrhosis.

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And even though keeping one alert has long been associated with drinking coffee, the new study found that it had other neurological and psychological dividends. Coffee was found to be associated with a reduced risk of depression and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

The study also confirmed that pregnant women should abstain from drinking coffee. It suggested that women with who have an increased risk of bone fracture should also avoid the beverage.

The University of Southhampton study comes just a week after an analysis published in The BMJ revealed that drinking coffee was found to be associated with numerous healthy outcomes, including a reduced risk for the development of diabetes and the reduction in risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

The Forbes article pointed out that the Southhampton study was largely based on accumulated “observational,” not empirical, data, and the assumption that the coffee research was anything but correlative and that drinking coffee was beneficially causative would be a step too far. The research, however, did indicate coffee to be safe enough to use in true clinical trials.

Another point made in the Forbes article was that, although more and more evidence seems to point to the intake of coffee being not only safe but beneficial, the risk seems to come from the various additives and partnerings involved when individuals normally drink coffee. Adding sugar, artificial sweeteners, and creamers might be less beneficial, as recent reports have indicated that sugar (and the many things made with and/or containing it) could be linked to chronic diseases that include cancer and heart disease.

So if you like your coffee, as millions do, you now have research that points to drinking it to be beneficial to your health. The magic number seems to be imbibing three or four cups over a daily period. And although it may be more difficult to swallow, drinking it without pastries and “black” — that is, without dilutive substances (as do 35 percent of coffee drinkers, per Statistic Brain) — might be the most healthy way to enjoy it.

Given that drinking coffee appears to be associated with so many healthy dividends, especially the reduced risk of developing diabetes, heart and liver disease, and several forms of cancer, you very well could be enjoying those three or four cups for a far longer time.