A recent study has purportedly found that “neither caffeinated nor decaffeinated coffee was associated with an increased risk of total chronic disease, CVD [cardiovascular disease], or cancer,” according to a concurrent editorial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Anna Floegel, “Coffee Consumption and Risk of Chronic Disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Germany Study,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2012. Researchers analyzed data from medical followups and food frequency questionnaires gathered from 42,659 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)- Germany, reporting the effects of coffee on overall health. The results not only failed to reveal a link between coffee and chronic disease, but suggested that the beverage may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
“The association between coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease is of considerable relevance because coffee is consumed worldwide and any effect on health that it may cause will have public health consequences,” notes the editorial, which stresses the need for further research into non-filtered coffee as well as its effects on those with preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or CVD. In addition, the study apparently did not address whether coffee drinkers tend to be healthier than nonconsumers because the beverage itself has beneficial qualities or because coffee consumption in some cultures “is a marker of social interaction” generally synonymous with a higher quality of life. Nevertheless, the editorial concludes, the Floegel research “adds to the evidence on the null association between habitual coffee consumption and CVD, cancer and total mortality” and “suggests that coffee is not as bad as we were told.”