Coffee may be linked to multiple disease outcomes

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Excess coffee consumption can cause poor health, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

Using data from over 300,000 participants in the U.K. Biobank, researchers led by Elina Hyppönen, PhD, professor at the University of South Australia, examined connections between genetically instrumented habitual coffee consumption and a full range of diseases, finding that too much coffee can increase the risk of some diseases.

Hyppönen said understanding any risks associated with habitual coffee intakes could have very large implications for population health. In this study, the researchers used a genetic approach, called MR-PheWAS analysis, to establish effects of coffee consumption against 1,117 clinical conditions. While the results found moderate coffee drinking is mostly safe, it also showed that habitual coffee consumption increased the risks of osteoarthritis, arthropathy, and obesity.

The researchers found that six cups of coffee a day were considered the upper limit of safe consumption.

For people with a family history of osteoarthritis or arthritis, or for those who are worried about developing these conditions, these results should act as a cautionary message, Hyppönen said.

“The body generally sends powerful messages with respect to coffee consumption, so it's imperative that individuals listen to these when consuming coffee,” said Hyppönen in a statement. “While these results are in many ways reassuring in terms of general coffee consumption, the message we should always remember is consume coffee in moderation.”