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According to scare-mongering, click baiting news reports, grounds of the good stuff have made twitchy crackheads of us all: as well as twisting up your brain in the exact same way as cocaine, coffee can lead to cancer and heart disease. Let’s look at the science.
Since 1966 at least 21 studies have been undertaken on a potential link between coffee and coronary heart disease. Other studies claimed to find a causal link between coffee drinking and lung cancer.
Most studies that earned coffee its notoriety have been widely disregarded, because (as pointed out in a 2014 meta-analysis by Harvard School of Health’s Dr Rob van Dam) they failed to take into account their subjects’ other unhealthy lifestyle choices. “It’s perfectly safe to drink up to four cups of coffee a day,” says Tew. “In fact, there’s a clear benefit, as coffee contains antioxidants that help fight cancer.” New studies have shown that coffee may protect against diabetes, liver disease, gallstones, Parkinson’s and depression – and (shock!) improve cognitive function.
As for caffeine’s drug-like grip on your brain, don’t book into rehab just yet. “Coffee is definitely addictive,” says Dr Ray. “It’s a psycho-stimulant that blocks the same receptors as cocaine, reinforcing addictive behaviour. The difference is that cocaine is highly toxic and coffee isn’t.”
Is Coffee Killing You?
Unless you’re working through a buy-10-get-one-free loyalty card every few days, you should be in the clear.