More Than Four Cups of Coffee A Day Could Shorten Your Life
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Waking up to a cup of coffee is a ritual for millions of people around the world. In the U.S. alone, nearly 400 million cups are consumed daily; adults drink on average just over three cups a day. Yet, while we all love the brew, there is a lot of differing opinion about whether it is actually good for us or not. One new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings says drinking more than four cups of coffee a day could be shortening your life, warning younger people in particular to avoid heavy coffee consumption—consuming more than 28 cups a week increased their death rates by more than half. Drinking large amounts of coffee was found to raise the chances of men and women up to the age of 55 dying from any cause, while there were no adverse effects for people aged over 55.
This latest research was carried out by a multicentre research team at the Aerobics Centre Longitudinal Study (ACLS) unit. Their data is based on a large-scale American lifestyle study of more than 40,000 individuals aged 20 to 87. Over an average period of 16 years, around 2,500 deaths were recorded, just under a third of which were due to cardiovascular disease. Participants who consumed higher amounts of coffee were also more likely to smoke, and had less healthy hearts and lungs.
The risk of death from all causes rose by more than 50 per cent for both men and women younger than the age of 55 who drank in excess of 28 cups of coffee a week, the equivalent of four a day. The investigators suggest that younger people in particular should avoid heavy coffee consumption of more than 28 cups a week or four cups in a typical day. However, they emphasise that further studies are needed in different populations to assess details regarding the effects of long-term coffee consumption and changes in coffee consumption over time on all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Coffee is a complex mixture of chemicals consisting of thousands of components. There continues to be considerable debate about the health effects of caffeine and coffee, with some reports suggesting toxicity while other research suggests positive health benefits and has shown coffee to be a major dietary source of antioxidants.
Findings reported in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings also show the beverage may offer potential benefits by reducing inflammation and boosting brain function. Yet coffee also stimulates the release of adrenalin, inhibits insulin activity, increases blood pressure, and raises levels of homocysteine, a harmful chemical linked to heart disease and dementia. Unfortunately, there's no clear answer yet—more research is needed. All things in moderation would be a good guide.
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