Good news for heavy coffee drinkers
According to Dr. Peter Martin, the director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University, there’s nothing really wrong with drinking as much coffee as you want – if you don’t have trouble sleeping, and if you are an adult.
In an article for The Atlantic, Dr. Martin says,
“What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can…it’s not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot.”
Dr. Arfa Babaknia, a family medicine physician at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, stated,
“As long as coffee doesn’t make you jittery, hyper, give you a headache or cause insomnia, there is no limit.”
Can drinking coffee lead to a longer life?
Rob van Dam, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, is quoted in this NPR article as saying that since “results from other cohort studies in U.S. men and women suggest that coffee consumption is associated with a slightly lower risk of premature mortality,” he sees no problem with people drinking up to 4 cups of coffee per day, and his own research has found “no increased risk of death from any cause in people who drank up to six eight-ounce cups of coffee per day” – if you are generally healthy.
How Much Coffee Is Really OK?
There’s plenty of recent research has indicated that drinking moderate amounts of coffee can have a host of benefits, from preventing liver damage to preventing heart attacks and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Cups of coffee needed to achieve these benefits were usually in the range of 2 per day, and it was assumed that at some point too much coffee was detrimental to one’s health.
There is new evidence
New evidence shows that drinking more than 2 cups of coffee a day may be just fine, and may even provide added health benefits.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle studied 1,001 men who had survived prostate cancer. Their studies, as reported in Medical News Today, concluded that the 12% of men who drank more than 4 cups of coffee per day had a 59% less chance of prostate cancer recurrence than the men who drank 1 cup or less of coffee per week.
Despite the evidence, Milan Geybels, the lead author of the study, did say that more studies needed to be done before he would recommend drinking more than 2 cups of coffee per day as a preventative measure against prostate cancer.
Coffee is the best source of antioxidants
According to 2005 article in Phsy.org, coffee is the main source of antioxidants for most Americans who drink coffee. Nothing else in the American diet comes even close to providing as many antioxidants as coffee – it easily beat out such popular antioxidant sources as tea, milk, chocolate and cranberries.
On a dissenting note, a 2013 study by the Mayo Clinic concluded that drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day could lead to premature death for people younger than 55, but it did not factor in other health concerns of the people they studied.
For example, it was found that heavy coffee drinkers are more likely to be smokers and more likely to be less fit than average. In the end, the study was a bit inconclusive and said that heavy coffee drinkers should consider cutting back if they were having trouble sleeping, if they were adding unhealthy additives (cream and sugar) to their coffee, and if drinking coffee was replacing eating and drinking healthier food options.
As a conclusion, it looks like there’s plenty of evidence that shows drinking more than 2 cups of coffee is beneficial to one’s health, but most scientists are hesitant to make the recommendation until more studies are done.