Coffee consumption emerges as beneficial for public health

Drink up: Three cups of coffee a day 'may have health benefits'

Decaffeinated coffee has a similar impact to the standard version, they found, suggesting that it is not the caffeine which helps to prevent disease. Finally, the studies included in the review focused on 8 oz. cups of coffee per serving, not the "Tall" or "Grande" options available at most coffee shops.

The full statement from BMJ follows below.

Coffee consumption is also associated with lower rates of type 2 diabetes, gallstones and dementia. Additionally, there was a correlation between high coffee consumption and increased risk of bone fractures in women, although not in men. However, when too much caffeine is consumed, it may take a toll on the body. But existing evidence is of lower quality from observational research and randomised controlled trials are needed to strengthen the evidence of benefits.

The results uncovered that three or four cups every day was the optimum number as it was associated with a 17 per cent reduced chance of death compared to people who drink none. Drinking coffee beyond these amounts was not associated with harm, but the benefits were less pronounced. As such, we can't yet definitively say that drinking coffee is an effective means of prevention for, say, cirrhosis or cardiovascular disease.

But past year the World Health Organisation withdrew its previous warnings on the link between coffee and bladder cancer - and instead said that the drink could, in fact, help protect against certain cancers such as womb cancer and liver cancer.

Drink up: Three cups of coffee a day 'may have health benefits'

Numerous included studies may have adjusted for factors that may be associated with both the health outcome and with coffee drinking, such as smoking.

Reassuringly, harms were not apparent apart from during pregnancy when coffee drinking was linked to low birth weight, premature birth (in the first six months of pregnancy) and miscarriage.

Because a large review of previous studies, published in the British Medical Journal, claims that supping three to four cups of the stuff might actually be beneficial to our health.

The research team also added that coffee drinkers should stick to healthy coffees, which avoid extra cream or milk, sugar, or a fatty snack on the side as they may independently contribute to adverse health outcomes.

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