Their conclusions rely on the until-now most extensive study of the relationship between coffee consumption, thus primarily the caffeine in it, and premature mortality. When asked whether the most widespread stimulant in the world is harming or benefiting, science has not yet provided the answer.
Now, indeed everything is different, and new information from a 14-year research study under the leadership of Neal Freedman, a nutrition specialist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, suggests that higher-than-recommended caffeine consumption not only doesn't harm, but on the contrary, benefits.
It even seems that there is an inverse proportion - the more coffee we drink, the less the risk that we die prematurely. Six cups allegedly reduce the risk in men by ten percent, and in females by even fifteen percent. It should be noted here that in the United States it is customary to drink somewhat weaker coffee than in Europe and in the rest of the world.
"I think we can reassure coffee lovers. Some studies referred to the relationship between coffee drinking and health risks, but we have not found anything like that,” the television channel NBC cites Freedman, who published the findings of his research with his colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The study involved 400,000 healthy volunteers. Patients with cancer and people after a stroke or heart attack were not included.
The effective substance in coffee is, as has been said, the alkaloid caffeine. It is a stimulant that acts primarily on the central nervous system. It does so in that it changes the chemical processes in the brain - it binds to adenosine receptors and prevents the rise of the feeling of fatigue.
If nothing else, it should therefore be at least taken into consideration that when consuming enormous quantities of coffee, caffeine, like all other stimulants, forces the body to use energy supplies that would normally stay saved.
For the positive effects of coffee on human health however, caffeine may be only partially responsible. Other substances also play an important role.
"From the point of view of anti-aging, we could add coffee to foods with an anti-aging effect, as well as for instance vegetables, fruits, red wine or chocolate. The positive effects of coffee are due to the high proportion of antioxidants in the coffee. In particular, polyphenols. These are antioxidant substances that protect our cells against premature aging. The most important of these is chlorogenic acid which could be compared to a sort protector of our DNA against free radicals," MUDr. Monika Golková adds.
The positive effects of coffee have already been written much about in literature, ranging from facilitating fat-burning through reducing the risk of an outbreak of Alzheimer's disease, protecting against cancer to facilitating breathing difficulties in asthma.
How to, however, explain studies that point to a link with a higher incidence of fatal diseases? Even to this the scientists have an answer - those who indulge themselves in great quantities of this bitter stimulating beverage regularly do not drink it alone. They add cake or a cigarette to their coffee, and they also have other vices such as alcohol, unhealthy snacks, and idleness.