Is Coffee—Gulp—Good for You?

June 19, 2008 10:01 AM
by Anne Szustek
After years of hearing about the morning cup’s detrimental effects, a spate of recent studies may give coffee drinkers a reason to perk up.

30-Second Summary

A group of researchers led by the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid’s Esther Lopez-Garcia tracked the coffee-drinking habits of 84,214 American women from 1980 to 2004 and of 41,736 U.S. men from 1986 to 2004. All of the subjects worked in the medical profession and had no reported background of cardiovascular disease or cancer.

The study, published Monday, defined regular coffee drinking as “up to six cups a day” and showed no detrimental health effects to regular coffee drinkers. Quite the contrary: “It seems like long-term coffee consumption may have some beneficial effects,” Lopez-Garcia told Reuters.

Indeed, women participating in the study who said they consume two to three cups of coffee a day showed a 25-percent lower risk of death from heart disease than women in the study who did not drink coffee. Men showed a similar trend, but their decrease in risk was marginal.

Other studies of late have shown evidence that coffee consumption wards off dementia as well as liver and ovarian cancer.

But, as in the words of the editors of Lopez-Garcia’s study, which ran in this month’s Annals of Internal Medicine, “The relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality remains unclear.”

See Insider Medicine coverage

Headline Link: ‘No Higher Death Risk in Long-term Coffee Drinking’

Background: Coffee studies play good cup, bad cup

Good cup
Bad cup

Reference: The Madrid study; guides to caffeine and coffee

Related Topic: ‘The Foodie: A Good Cup of Coffee’


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