1 Cup Or 5?

On a daily basis we are bombarded with news of new research about what to eat, drink and smoke.  Laughably doctors now say that you don’t have to quit smoking altogether, you can just cut down.  At the end of the day, what is good for you today will probably be bad for you tomorrow and doesn’t everything lead to one eventuality anyway….death?  May be that is a bit drastic, but something IS going to kill you in the end.

As a coffee drinker I am interested in the changing opinions regarding coffee and whether it is indeed bad for you or not.  It certainly helps you stay awake on long haul journeys and could be classed as a life saver in that respect.  Opinion shifts regularly and so I have compiled a little cup-by-cup list of pros and cons announced over the years in the media.

1 Cup:

Pro:  Enough to lessen your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by half due to the dopamine promotion of caffeine.    

Con:  Just before bed could keep you awake.

 2 Cups:

Pro:  40% lower risk of developing gallstones.  Caffeine encourages the gallbladder to empty. 

Con: Osteoporosis in menopausal women due to diuretic effect of caffeine causing excretion of calcium.

 3 Cups:

Pro:  Cuts women’s risk of developing diabetes by 29% and men’s by 27%.  Caffeine helps to transport insulin into cells.

Con:  More than 3 cups a day can alter sleep, cause irritation, moodiness and nausea.

4 Cups:

Pro:  10% less chance of developing breast cancer.   

Con:  Increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to the increased amount of inflammatory agents found in the blood of coffee drinkers.                 

 5 Cups:

No documented evidence of benefits above this amount. 

Con: Twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.  Particularly if you drink the unfiltered varieties.

One last point that doesn’t fit into this guide:  A daily coffee drinker is half as likely to get liver cancer and could be protected against colon cancer. 


So according to this evidence,  you can drink coffee all day and guard against liver, colon and breast cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes and gallstones, but you may end up with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis if you are a women and as well as this you could be a nauseous, irritable, moody insomniac.

Please don’t base your coffee consumption on my light-hearted little article.


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