One day we hear drinking coffee daily is good for you, the next day we hear it’s bad for you. Caffeine is at the center of the never-ending debate of whether it helps you live longer or kills you faster. Now, researchers with the International Life Sciences Institute suggest drinking up to four cups of coffee a day is not linked to any harmful health effects. 

“This Systematic Review provides evidence that furthers our understanding of caffeine on human health,” said Dr. Eric Hentges, Executive Director, ILSI North America, in a statement.

In the study, published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, Hentges and his colleagues found the previously-defined levels of caffeine intake in healthy caffeine drinkers is not associated with detrimental side effects on health.

Previous research has cited assessments of caffeine safety issued by Health Canada that warn against the health risks of drinking copious amounts of caffeine. Since 2003, over 10,000 papers have been published related to caffeine, with hundreds focusing on its human health effects. According to Hentges and his colleagues, none have done a comparative analysis on these topics.

So the researchers decided to conduct what’s known as a systematic review of data published from 2001 to 2015 to confirm or put to bed, the controversies surrounding caffeine’s effect on health. More than 740 studies were analyzed to review caffeine-related side effects in five areas, including acute toxicity, bone/calcium, cardiovascular, behavior, and reproductive and development in four healthy populations, including adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. They compared the effects of 400 milligrams/day (4 cups of coffee) for adults; 300 mg/day (3 cups of coffee) for pregnant women; and 2.5 mg/day for children and adolescents.

The findings revealed the average daily consumption of caffeine across all age groups is 165 mg, with 105 mg coming from coffee. Furthermore, the researchers confirmed about 400 mg of caffeine was safe for healthy adults, but pregnant women are recommended to drink less than 300 mg a day. Children can consume up to 2.5 mg a day without experiencing any health side effects.

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Source: Medical Daily | Lizette Borreli