Despite decades of studies and headline like the recent one claiming that "coffee can help you live past 90," researchers overall still aren't sure whether the caffeinated life-source for over half of America really is good for you.
They think it might be, in some cases, but that's as far as they can go.
A recent comprehensive overview published in the Annual Review of Nutrition and highlighted by Knowable Magazine is the latest to make that hesitant claim. The researchers from the University of Catania in Italy found "probable" evidence that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. It also might prevent common cancers, including breast, colon and prostate, they said, echoing a claim from the World Health Organization in 2015.
Coffee beans contain caffeine and phytochemicals, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Knowable points out, as well as "specific effects on enzymes that regulate liver function, insulin and glucose metabolism and DNA repair." That explains its probable benefits for most consumers, with some exceptions, such as pregnant women, since researchers found coffee may be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.
But of all the studies they looked at in their 127 meta-analyses, each comprised of groups of studies addressing the same coffee-related topic, none was ideal.