Coffee is the ultimate frenemy: It's good for our bodies, but too much of it can apparently kill us.
At least that's what an analysis of data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study cohort says. Researchers followed a group of men and women ranging in ages from 20 to 87 between the years 1979 and 1998. Participants were asked to estimate their weekly coffee consumption at the beginning of the study.
Over time, the coffee drinkers under age 55 who averaged more than 28 cups a week — meaning four a day — had a 50 percent higher mortality rate than those who didn't drink as much.
But, relax: Coffee isn't going to kill you.
"We're not saying that coffee is the cause of death; we just noticed coffee is associated with increased risk of death," study co-author Dr. Carl Lavie, director of the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, told the New York Daily News.
The researchers didn't find a direct correlation between the four-cup-a-day habit and cardiovascular disease, but the study shows it's best to drink in moderation.
"I do think it would be reasonable to use some caution at doses of four cups a day and above, and realize that a cup is probably a a 6- to 8-oz. cup and not the grandes and supergrandes that are now available," Lavie told the Daily News. "It appears to be safe in small to moderate amounts, and there may even be some benefits.
"The low doses seem to be very safe," Lavie added. "And that's still a fair amount of coffee."
So, put down the venti and go for the grande... just to be safe.
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