Dr. Sajeev Kumar
88% (28244 ratings)
C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
33 years experience
Coffee Drinking Is Good For You?
It appears that, in large populations of people, drinking coffee may (on average) confer health benefits. In particular, the risk of cardiac death and of overall mortality appears to be lower in coffee drinkers, with the optimal benefits seen in people who drink 3 - 4 cups per day. Whether caffeine has anything to do with such health benefits is not entirely known. Coffee contains a host of active substances aside from caffeine - substances that are thought to act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, for instance - that may be contributing to this beneficial effect.
Epidemiological studies like this one, no matter how well they are performed, cannot possibly answer whether a specific individual will realize health benefits from coffee drinking. They can only tell us about the average response, across a large population.
We know that some individuals (probably determined by their genetic makeup) are particularly sensitive to caffeine, and may suffer severe sleep deprivation, jitteriness, or palpitations after drinking coffee (or any other caffeine-containing food or medication). We also know that caffeine sensitivity can change dramatically at various periods in one?s life (especially during pregnancy, when sensitivity to caffeine almost always increases). Drinking coffee is clearly not a good idea for everyone.
As a general rule, then, coffee drinking appears to have health benefits. But at least until routine genetic testing is available that might tell us about our own individual sensitivity to caffeine, whether coffee drinking is a good idea for us is something we?re just going to have to figure out for ourselves.
Read all about coffee and your heart.
Cardiac mortality: Compared to people who drank no coffee, people who drank one cup per day experienced an 11% reduction in cardiac mortality.This mortality
benefit ?peaked? (at about 20%) for people who drank 3 - 4 cups per day, and then began to diminish as the amount of coffee consumption increased beyond that level.
Cancer mortality: Several reports over the years have suggested that coffee might reduce the risk of certain cancers. In this large study, however, there was no difference in cancer mortality between people who drank no coffee, and people who drank from 1 to 6 cups of coffee per day.
Overall mortality: Compared to people who drank no coffee, coffee drinkers had a reduced mortality rate. Again, this mortality benefit seemed to peak at between 3 - 4 cups per day (at about a 15% reduction in mortality).
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