Have you ever wondered how much is too much when it comes to your favourite caffeinated beverage? We’ve heard that two to three cups provides various health benefits, but what about those of us who like a few more?
A new study has found that the protective benefits of coffee increase with the number of cups you drink – and that those who enjoy four or five cups of coffee a day have the lowest risk of an early death.
In other words – coffee can save your life!
Regular coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer heart disease and diabetes than those who don’t drink coffee, and also reduced risk of premature death from chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, pneumonia, influenza and suicide, the Daily Mail reports.
“Coffee contains numerous biologically active compounds, including phenolic acids, potassium and caffeine, ” said study author Dr Erikka Loftfield of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers looked at data from a previous study on 90,317 adults without cancer or a history of cardiovascular disease and found that those who drink two to three cups of coffee per day had an 18 per cent lower risk of early death.
But the best news is that those who exceed this amount are actually not putting their health at risk, with up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, around four to five cups, faring the best.
Dr Loftfield said that although there had previously been associations between certain cancers, such as liver cancer, with high intakes of coffee, this study “did not observe an association between cancer and overall mortality”.
“This may be because coffee reduces mortality risk for some cancers but not others,” he said.
Similar health benefits were seen for those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.