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Great News for Coffee Lovers

Drinking 3 or 4 cups a day may be good for your health

Coffee lovers

RomoloTavani/Istock

Heavy coffee drinking was associated with a lower risk of numerous health issues in a new study.

En español | The latest news on coffee is enough to make you rush out for a venti latte: Drinking three or four cups a day seems generally safe and may even benefit health, according to an analysis of more than 200 studies from around the world.

Researchers from England’s University of Southampton and Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, in a report published last week in the BMJ medical journal,  concluded that heavy coffee drinking (three to four cups a day), compared to lighter drinking, was associated with a lower risk of, among other health issues, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, depression and some cancers, including prostate, endometrial and liver. 

Exceptions include pregnant women, whose heavy coffee consumption appears to be related to low birth weight and other health problems for their infants; coffee drinking is also associated with higher risk of bone fracture in women.

In the past, some researchers have warned against coffee drinking because it was thought to increase cholesterol. But this report supports the many recent studies demonstrating its benefits. Two studies in July, one funded by the National Cancer Institute and another that surveyed more than 520,000 people in Europe, reported coffee drinking’s strong association with better health.  

There are a few caveats to keep in mind, including coffee’s association with anxiety, insomnia and heartburn, and its negative interactions with certain medications. And drinking coffee full of sugar — hello, white chocolate mocha fans — is unlikely to contribute to good health.

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