Three to four cups of coffee a day linked to longer life

New research reported in the British Medical Journal is likely to cause debate among health practitioners–as research on coffee always does.

According to the BMJ, “Drinking coffee is “more likely to benefit health than to harm it.”

In this study, researchers gathered evidence from more than 200 earlier studies.

The researchers found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of death–including lower risk of heart disease–compared to drinking no coffee.

Coffee drinking was also associated with lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.

The research came with a few caveats:

— Coffee drinking should be lowered, or avoided, during pregnancy as it does appear to have minor side effects in this situation.

— Coffee should be avoided by elderly women at risk of fracture. Though the “link” to increasing risk of fractures is small, it only makes sense for women already at risk to avoid exacerbating the issue.

— How you drink your coffee is important. The refined sugars and other chemicals that many coffee drinkers use carry their own risks, and may actually offset the advantages of drinking coffee.

For research details, visit the BMJ study here.