Is too much coffee a good thing?

Being a person that starts every morning with a coffee and someone who has numerous coffee beverages throughout the day I often ask myself, do I drink too much coffee and is there such a thing as too much coffee?  After doing a little research, at the local Starbucks on my computer I found a study that shows drinking coffee could boost your chances of a longer life, even for those of us coffee connoisseurs who consume as many as eight cups a day.

In a study of around half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers were found to have a slightly lower risk of death over a 10-year follow-up period than non-coffee drinkers.  This study was also the first of its kind to suggest health benefits in people with so-called genetic glitches affecting how their bodies react to caffeine.  So maybe you or I could be coffee X-Men, oh I forgot to be politically correct X-People after all I am Canadian.

Back to the study, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) used data from participants taking part in a genetic study called the U.K. Biobank, where participants volunteered to give blood and answer detailed health and lifestyle questions.

NCI researchers analyzed information provided by approximately 500,000 people, who answered questions about coffee consumption, smoking and drinking habits, medical history and more. The data found that people were more likely to live longer with nearly every level and type of coffee consumption as coffee drinkers were found to be about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers during a decade of follow-up checks. The differences recorded regarding the amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal.

This is not the first time that research on the consumption of coffee has been linked to better health.  Other studies have claimed substances in coffee might reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which could decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes.

The apparent increase in longevity is great news for the coffee industry, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and the many other companies that have coffee lovers lining up for their favorite cup of joe or that pumpkin spice, low fat latte, you know fall is just around the corner.  However, health experts warned people should not start drinking coffee, or increasing their intake, for medical reasons.

For the record I come in at about 6 cups a day on average, except for Mondays that is definitely an 8-cup day for me, but for now, drink up and live longer, which will give us coffee drinkers more to time enjoy more coffee.

by Calli Gregg