According to new research published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), drinking coffee is "more likely to benefit health than to harm it".
Researchers led by Dr Robin Poole, a specialist registrar in public health at the University of Southampton, brought together research from more than 200 separate studies on the relationship between health and coffee consumption. They discovered that those who consumed coffee regularly were consistently found to have a lower risk fo death compared to non-coffee drinkers. The largest death risk reduction was found for those who consumed 3 cups a day.
Coffee consumption was also correlated with a lower risk of deloping several cancers, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones, and gout. There also appeared to be a beneficial correlation between coffee consumption and Parkinson's disease, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. However, coffee consumption by women during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of harm.
Dr Eliseo Guallar, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US said, in reference to the study: "Although we can be reassured that coffee intake is generally safe, doctors should not recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease, and people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons... and there is substantial uncertainty about the effects of higher levels of intake."
The researchers advised that the included studies relied mostly on observational data, providing lower-quality evidnce, so no firm conclusions should be drawn from the data. They concluded that, excluding during pregnancy, coffee drinking appears to be safe within normal use.