Coffee is a hot topic in recent health research, even for those of us who drink it iced. Some say it’s good for you, some say it’s bad. As with most things in life, it’s not that clear-cut.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently found that consuming more than four cups of coffee per day, that is more than 28, 8-ounce cups per week, is correlated with earlier mortality in both men and women under 55 years of age, than in those who do not drink coffee. The association of heavy coffee consumption and early mortality was greater for men than for women but significant for both sexes.
This was a large study of over 43,000 healthy people, aged 20-87 years, followed for an average of 17 years. The study participants were observed over the course of the study for all causes of mortality and specifically death related to cardiovascular disease.
This does not mean that drinking coffee will kill you. In fact, several other recent studies have shown positive relationships between coffee and health. Coffee even has beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals present in its murky depths that may ward off prostate and liver cancer and may help moderate Type II Diabetes.
However, as with all things in our diets, moderation is the key. So, my fellow Seattleites and latte-lovers around the world, drink your coffee. Enjoy your coffee. But don’t overdo it. Stick to no more than a cup or two a day. Go easy on the added sugar, flavored syrups, and whipped cream. And maybe mix it up and have a cup of green tea now and then, proven to have antioxidants and cancer-fighting properties galore!
- Liu, J., et al. Association of Coffee Consumption with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. June 2013. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/webfiles/images/journals/jmcp/jmcp_ft88_9_1.pdf