New research shows drinking coffee may offer some benefits

Jennifer Geer

Once and for all, is coffee good for you or bad? The latest research sheds light

Is coffee good for you or bad? The answer to this has been swinging back and forth over the years, but some recent research suggests that drinking moderate amounts of coffee might not be a bad thing.

What’s the good news about coffee?

#1: It’s tied to a healthy liver

A study published in June of 2021 found that coffee drinkers were 49% less likely to die of chronic liver disease than non-coffee drinkers. Another more recent study featured on WebMD from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people that drink three or more cups of coffee per day had fewer liver problems.

#2: Coffee may improve your mood

A study in Europe showed a link that drinking coffee during winter when the days were shorter improved people’s moods. Now you should know, this study is backed by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), made up of European-based coffee companies.

But there’s more, a Japanese study from 2014 showed that some of the components in coffee were found to counteract negative effects of depression.

#3: It could be contributing to heart health

Another study found light to moderate coffee drinking was associated with a lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease.

And an analysis of data from three well-known heart disease trials, and highlighted by the American Heart Association, showed the link that the more coffee people drank, the lower their risk of heart failure.

Although I should point out, the senior author of the study, Dr. David Kao, put a bit of a damper on the news saying,

“There is not yet enough clear evidence to recommend increasing coffee consumption to decrease risk of heart disease with the same strength and certainty as stopping smoking, losing weight or exercising.”

Not always a good thing

As with everything in life, moderation seems to be key. The Mayo Clinic advises against too much caffeine consumption. The limit they suggest: 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This amounts to about four cups of coffee.

And it should be even less for pregnant women, the Mayo Clinic recommends pregnant should not drink more than two cups of coffee per day.

Symptoms from too much caffeine can include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nervousness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Irritability

How much coffee you should drink varies for each person

Some people are much more affected by drinking coffee than others. You can experiment with yourself to get the right amount for you. If two cups make you jittery, stick with one. But remember not to go overboard.

Of course, these studies don't provide enough evidence to start drinking coffee if you don't already. And the possible benefits of drinking coffee will never outweigh the well-known benefits of eating healthy and getting exercise.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL
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