The benefits were seen in drinking a moderate three to four cups of coffee a day and have been seen to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and the greatest benefit being in liver conditions.
In order to get a better understanding of the effects of coffee consumption on health, Dr. Robin Poole, specialist registrar in Public Health at UOS, led a team in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh to carry out an umbrella review of over 200 studies from observational and clinical trials.
For students, high quantities of coffee can make the world go round whilst juggling academic responsibilities and social engagements. When asked if students should be limiting their daily cups of coffee, Dr. Poole said, ‘Our research suggested that drinking 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day had stronger links with some benefits than drinking less or drinking more than that amount. Reassuringly, drinking more than 3 or 4 cups was not associated with harm, but the level of benefit was reduced.’
‘There may be factors such as smoking, alcohol, nutrition, income, and education that may also be linked to drinking coffee and linked to the outcomes that may lead to false associations of benefit or harm.’
‘We would suggest students who are already drinking this amount of coffee, to continue to enjoy it, but try and make it as healthy as possible by avoiding adding too much sugar, syrup, or accompanying the beverage with biscuits, cakes, and pastries. Additionally, the magnitude of the benefit from drinking coffee is actually quite small compared to the benefits or stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, or taking more physical activity on risk of various health outcomes. So students who wish to become as healthy as possible should target those lifestyle factors first!’