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07 June 2020 Posted by 


New research reveals connection
COFFEE has joined the long list of life’s pleasures that are bad for us in excess, but that won’t stop businesspeople from enjoying the pleasures of a welcoming takeaway on the way to work.

And inevitably the company coffee self-serve will still be the centre of attention because we Aussies are famous for ignoring food warnings when it comes to life’s “essentials”.

We may jog for miles, go on strict diets, count calories while nibbling on a lettuce leaf and give up beer and wine, all while wearing a Fit Bit watch, but there is no way we are giving up the daybreak “heart starter”, the morning tea “pick me up” and the lunchtime “refresher”.

The latest spoilsport is the University of South Australia which reckons excess coffee consumption is a culprit for poor health.

It seems that, while cappuccino, latte or short black, coffee is one of the most commonly consumed drinks in the west, whether it’s good or bad for your health can be clarified by genetics.

The world-first study from the University’s Centre for Precision Health shows that excess coffee consumption can indeed cause poor health.

I decided to delve deeper and made myself a Moccona while reading on.

Using data from over 300,000 participants, researchers examined connections between genetically instrumented habitual coffee consumption and a full range of diseases, finding that too much coffee can increase the risk of osteoarthritis, arthropathy or joint disease and obesity.

Six cups of coffee a day were considered the upper limit of safe consumption. Thank goodness I have reduced my intake from a massive 14 cups a day to just three.

Associated risks

The University’s expert genetic epidemiologist Professor Elina Hypponen said understanding any risks associated with habitual coffee intakes could have large implications for population health.

“Globally, we drink around three billion cups of coffee each day, so it makes sense to explore the pros and cons of this on our health,” Professor Hyppönen says.

“Typically, the effects of coffee consumption are investigated using an observational approach, where comparisons are made against non-coffee-drinkers. But this can deliver misleading results.

“Reassuringly, our results suggest that, moderate coffee drinking is mostly safe.”

My workmates drew a huge sigh of relief after hearing the good news and headed off to make a “fresh one” and discuss what moderation actually meant.

“It also showed that habitual coffee consumption increased the risks of three diseases: osteoarthritis, arthropathy and obesity, which can cause significant pain and suffering for individuals with these conditions,” Professor Hypponen said

Professor Hyppönen said the prevalence of these conditions in Australia and around the world showed how important it was to determine possible causes and influencers of the diseases.

“Excess coffee consumption can lead to increased risks of certain diseases,” Professor Hypponen said.

“While these results are in many ways reassuring in terms of general coffee consumption, the message we should always remember is consume coffee in moderation – that’s the best bet to enjoy your coffee and good health too.”

Personally, I am going to make myself another Moccona and think about it all – two down, four to go for the day’s tally!


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.