Enjoy Your Coffee: It’s Actually Good For You

New research confirms lower risk of heart disease and death for coffee drinkers

Robert Roy Britt
Elemental
Published in
3 min readAug 30, 2021

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Image: Pixabay/Myriams-Fotos

New research pours more evidence into a percolating pot of proof that coffee appears to be quite good for most of us. Data from 468,629 people in the U.K. across several years revealed that up to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and death compared to no coffee, and even more daily intake doesn’t pack any serious health risks.

Several other studies in recent years have reached similar conclusions, showing that coffee offers some protective effects and few if any serious side effects beyond jitteriness and insomnia in some folks.

The new study, which like much research linking the consumption of food and drinks to health outcomes, cannot prove cause-and-effect. It’s possible that coffee drinkers do other things that promote health, though the study controlled for factors like smoking, physical activity, and broader health status.

“Our results suggest that regular coffee consumption is safe, as even high daily intake was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality after a follow-up of 10 to 15 years,” says study leader Judit Simon, MD, a researcher in the Heart and Vascular Center at Hungary’s Semmelweis University. “Moreover, 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day was independently associated with lower risks of stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause.”

Better functioning hearts

The study analyzed coffee consumption and health outcomes across 11 years, on average, for people in midlife. Compared to people who don’t drink coffee, those who drank 0.5 to 3 cups per day had a 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 21% lower risk of stroke, and a 12% lower risk of death by all causes.

The researchers then used MRIs to compare the hearts of people who did and did not drink coffee.

“The imaging analysis indicated that compared with participants who did not drink coffee regularly, daily consumers had healthier sized and better functioning hearts,” Simon says in a statement. “This was consistent with reversing the…

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Robert Roy Britt
Elemental

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB