If you feel guilty about the amount of coffee you drink daily, we have good news for you.
Researchers at Ulster University recently reviewed 1,277 studies from 1970 to 2016 about coffee’s effect on human health.
They found that the general scientific consensus is that regular, moderate coffee drinking (defined as 3-4 cups per day) has a neutral effect on health and can even be mildly beneficial.
In other words, the good (probably) outweighs the bad.
According to the Institute of Food Technologists, the review was used to create an exhaustive list of the potential health benefits and risks of coffee consumption on the following health outcomes:
Other miscellaneous health outcomes
The authors noted that studies currently available could not prove a definite cause of coffee's assumed risks or benefits because previous research has been largely based on observational data.
They said further research is needed to quantify the risk-benefit balance for coffee consumption, as well as identify which of its many active ingredients, or which combination of them, could be inducing these health benefits.
The review comes after the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organisation's dedicated cancer agency, changed the carcinogenic status of coffee.
Coffee was previously listed as a “possible carcinogen” by the organisation, but earlier this month they said there is “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect”.
However, they did note that "very hot drinks" including coffee when it's drank piping hot, are “probably carcinogenic”.
The latest Ulster University review is published in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.