Intended for healthcare professionals


Coffee gets a clean bill of health

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 22 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5356
  1. Eliseo Guallar, professor of epidemiology and medicine
  1. Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  1. eguallar{at}

Coffee is safe, but hold the cake

In the linked article, Poole and colleagues report findings from an umbrella review of clinical trials and observational studies of coffee intake and health outcomes (doi:10.1136/bmj.j5024).1 Umbrella reviews synthesise previous meta-analyses and provide a high level summary of quantitative research on a particular topic.2 This review found that coffee intake was either not associated or was inversely associated with most health outcomes considered. In particular, coffee intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, incidence of and mortality from cardiovascular disease, and incidence of cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and diabetes.

The authors concluded that coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual patterns of intake and is more likely to benefit health than to harm it. These conclusions are similar to those of a recent comprehensive systematic review of the adverse effects of caffeine consumption3 and to those of an independent umbrella review of …

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