Friends has a lot to answer for. One of the longest running American TV sitcoms, it popularised the Jennifer Anniston curvy hair look (aka “The Rachel”) and caused 20-something men everywhere to start talking like Joey (“Hey, how you doin’?!”). It also made drinking copious amounts of coffee soo cool.
With more of us drinking more coffee than ever before, it has become increasingly important to find out the long term health effects of regular coffee consumption. Thankfully, there’s a lot of published research, and headlines like “Coffee really does make you live longer” frequently make it into the media. Don’t’ swallow those reports whole, though – because definite answers aren’t all that black and white.
The problem with filtering out the real effects of coffee slurping is that the people who drink the most coffee also tend to be the healthiest for other reasons. Coffee house regulars are – on average – well paid, exercise fairly often, don’t smoke and have good healthcare. So, while stats show that coffee drinkers do tend to live longer, it may not be the coffee that is doing it.
That said, drinking moderate amounts of coffee is still probably good for you. On balance, the evidence seems to say that drinking coffee will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease. It’s been noticed that coffee makes blood pressure goes up, but up to 3-4 cups of coffee a day seems to be safe and do more good than harm. However, none of this applies to kids and pregnant women who would do well to avoid it altogether because they are far more vulnerable to the side effects of caffeine.
So sit down and slurp up in the knowledge you are probably helping your health. Leather sofa, boat-sized mug and good-looking friends are optional.
Answer by Dr Stu
Question sent from Guy Little via Facebook
Photo by Pascal Poggi on flickr