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coffee is good for you

Will doctors soon start encouraging their patients to drink more coffee?

Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and a writer for New York Times’ data-driven channel The Upshot looked into several “meta-analyses” (studies of studies) and found that the scientific consensus on coffee is that it is not evil. Not only is it not evil, but it’s not even that mix of “sort-of-good, sort-of-evil” the media would have you believe. The truth is: coffee is mostly just straight-up good for you.

A meta-analysis from last year of studies looking at the link between long-term consumption of coffee and the risk of cardiovascular disease showed that “those who consumed a moderate amount of coffee, about three to five cups a day, were at the lowest risk for problems. Those who consumed five or more cups a day had no higher risk than those who consumed none.” So, scratch cardiovascular disease off of coffee’s risk list.

Another meta-analysis of studies relating to coffee consumption and risk of stroke found that “consumption of two to six cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of disease, compared with those who drank none.” Scratch stroke off the list.

As for cancer, Carroll admits that individual studies have linked coffee to certain types of cancer, but again argues that when looking widely at studies regarding coffee consumption and cancer, coffee comes out on top.

Carroll cites even more meta-analyses that show coffee consumption decreases the risk of cognitive disease like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and leading causes of death such as diabetes and liver disease.

He does make the clarification that in all these cases, “coffee” is referring to black coffee ? and not the sweet, milky concoctions some of us think of as “coffee.”

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