Coffee health benefits: Drinking THIS much could protect you from killer illnesses

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The strongest benefits of coffee consumption were seen in reduced risks of liver disease, including cancer.

The BMJ said that to three to four cups of coffee a day is categorised as a moderate intake - 400mg or less per day.

However, doctors warn that these findings aren't enough to advise those who aren't drinking coffee already to pick up the habit.Just that people who are already drinking that much don't necessarily need to stop.

There are some exceptions - my sympathies go out to women who are pregnant or at risk of fracture.

The conclusion was made after doing an "umbrella review" of 201 observational research studies, and 17 studies based on clinical trials across various countries. Drinking that amount lets you reap the health benefits of coffee without risk of harm.

It contains a number of wonder compounds which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic properties which scientists believe might explain why drinkers experience lower rates of chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

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And coffee drinkers may have healthier livers and better glucose control than non-coffee drinkers. Moderate coffee intake is usually considered to be around four or five daily cups, or the equivalent of up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.

Three cups of coffee per day lowered the risk of coronary heart disease by 19 percent, and that of mortality from stroke by 30 percent, reported health portal Medical News Today.

However, it's worth noting that drinking a lot of coffee can also be detrimental to your health.

Drinking coffee was consistently associated with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease, with the largest reduction in relative risk of death at three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.

"Factors, for example, age, regardless of whether individuals smoked or not and how much exercise they took could all have had an impact", he said.

The drink is more likely to ward off disease than to cause harm, according to the most comprehensive report yet conducted. But they insist the findings prove moderate coffee consumption is safe, and more than likely to be good for you.