Too much coffee can hurt your health
Americans consume nearly 400 million cups of coffee a day, but it turns out that downing more than four cups every day – 28 cups a week – may be bad for your health. According to research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, all-cause mortality increased 21 percent when a person drank that much coffee, and, for coffee drinkers under the age of 55, mortality risk increased by 50 percent.
For this research, more 40,000 Americans were studied over a 16-year period. The subjects were surveyed on lifestyle habits (including coffee consumption) and personal and family medical histories. The participants ranged from 20 to 87 years old, and roughly three-quarters of them were men. Over the period of the study, 2,515 of those analyzed died, 32 percent by cardiovascular disease. Those who consumed more coffee were also more likely to smoke and had lower levels of cardiovascular fitness, which likely contributed to poor cardiovascular health.
All told, younger men saw a 56 percent increase in mortality if they drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week while younger women had a 50 percent increase in death rate. These effects were not seen in people older than 55.
The researchers suspect that the adverse effects may be related to caffeine’s potential to stimulate the release of epinephrine, inhibit insulin activity and increase both blood pressure and levels of homocysteine. Another explanation is that people who drank the most coffee also tended to lead unhealthy lifestyles, of which mass consumption of coffee was only one factor.