Whether regarded as the sole motivator to get out of bed in the morning, or despised due to its bitter taste, coffee has long divided society into two groups: those who drink it, and those who don’t.
In a similar fashion, it has divided the health world into those who laud it for its unexpected benefits ( such as decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and protecting against various cancers) and those that despise its potential negative effects (including difficulties getting pregnant with in vitro fertilization, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms).
This divide may finally close thanks to two new studies suggesting that a higher consumption of coffee leads to a lower risk of death.
The first study was done by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Imperial College London and looked at information from more than 520,000 men and women in 10 European countries. The research found that those who drank coffee had a lower risk of death when compared to those that avoided a morning brew—specifically when dealing with heart and abdomen diseases.
The second study took this theory a step further, suggesting that a higher coffee consumption actually equated to a lower risk of death in both non-white and white populations—something that could not be proven prior, given how little data is available regarding how coffee affected non-white populations. The studies suggest the benefits can come from both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions of the drink.
These conclusions aren’t entirely unfounded either, as coffee has been found to have antioxidant properties and reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, just to name a few benefits. However, the negatives can still outweigh the positives if the drink is loaded with fattening creams and sugars, or consumed in ridiculously high amounts—four cups a day is generally accepted as safe.
Rafael Saldana, CC-BY
Emma Korstanje is a freelance journalist based out of Athens, GA.