Who knew a regular cuppa was so good for your health? A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine dispels the drawbacks, revealing a regular java hit may cut the chances of heart disease.
Good for your health
Contrary to popular belief, rather than shortening a person's lifespan, over the long term, regular coffee drinkers may actually benefit health-wise from the popular drop. Previous studies into the health effects of coffee-drinking have produced mixed results suggesting a variety of benefits as well as some drawbacks.
But a new study led by Dr Esther Lopez-Garcia from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, reveals only good news for coffee lovers. Not only did the study show that coffee drinking was not associated with early deaths, but it also found no link between coffee consumption and cancer.
Up to six cups a day
The flipside, of course, is that to benefit you need to indulge on a regular basis. The odd cup here and there is unlikely to have much effect on your body health-wise.
The researchers found that drinking up to six cups a day had no adverse effect on the consumer's lifespan, and in women particularly there was even a small decline in death rates from heart disease.
"Our study indicates that coffee consumption does not have a detrimental effect," said Dr Lopez-Garcia. In fact, she added, "it seems like long-term coffee consumption may have some beneficial effects".
So what role does coffee play in protecting drinkers against heart disease? Previous studies indicate the popular brew is a great source of antioxidants substances that may protect against the free radicals that can damage cells and may also be associated with the onset of heart disease, cancer and other ailments.
Women benefit more
A lower risk of heart disease was the main health benefit found, and women who drink two to three cups a day stand to benefit the most. The researchers noted that there was a small decreased risk of heart disease for men, but it was not statistically significant.