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Keeping coffee consumption moderate ‘best bet’ to avoid health problems: study

hot coffee
Photo: KaeArt/iStockphoto

Adelaide, Australia — Is the amount of coffee you drink on the high side? If so, you might want to cut back in the interest of long-term health, researchers from the University of South Australia say.

After analyzing data from more than 300,000 survey responses in the UK Biobank, the researchers found that drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis, obesity and joint disease.

The researchers note that their study differed from past studies of coffee consumption by using genetic analysis instead of following observational study patterns that compare results of respondents who drink coffee with those who don’t.

A naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee beans and tea leaves, caffeine prompts a temporary increase in energy while boosting nervous system function. However, overconsumption can trigger numerous symptoms, the Food and Drug Administration says, including insomnia, jitters or anxiousness, increased heart rate, upset stomach, nausea, headache, and dysphoria (feeling unhappy).

“The body generally sends powerful messages with respect to coffee consumption,” Elina Hyppönen, researcher and director of the Australian Center for Precision Health at the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute, said in a May 13 press release, “so it’s imperative that individuals listen to these while consuming coffee. The message we should always remember is consume coffee in moderation – that’s the best bet to enjoy your coffee and good health too.”

The study was published online in March in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

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