What the Science Says About Common Coffee and Health Myths

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Study after study has found that coffee has a host of potential health benefits. Yet there’s still a lot of confusion among consumers and in the media

Surprisingly, 69% of Americans report that they have not even heard of any studies related to coffee and disease prevention, according to recent NCA market research.

And despite the fact that people already have less than the 3-5 cups daily recommended for optimal physical benefit, limiting caffeine intake was cited as the leading reason to cut coffee consumption.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the most common misconceptions on coffee and health – and what the science really says.

To learn more about coffee, caffeine, and health, join the NCA Science Leadership Council for the Coffee Science Fair at the NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9.

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Reading the Coffee Coverage: Longevity

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What’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s interesting.

The following article is based on this LinkedIn post by William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO 


When it comes to coffee coverage in the media, a healthy dose of context (and common sense) is critical.

Take this week’s Daily Mail article, “How Six Cups of Coffee a Day Can Help You to Live Longer,” on new research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Let’s take a look of the story, in light of the science:

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Behind the Headlines: Coffee, Health, and Research

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For the informed coffee drinker.

By Bill M. Murray, CAE, NCA, CEO
@Bill_CoffeeAssn

We know that coffee helps fight fatigue – but how do we know this?

First, from personal observation – coffee drinkers feel the effects of caffeine, and sometimes observe them in others.

Second, there’s evidence in the form of coffee-drinker surveys. In 2016, 84% of coffee drinkers said that “coffee wakes me up and gets me going.”[1]

Third, independent researchers suggest that consuming caffeinated coffee may be linked to improved brain function, physical endurance, and athletic performance.[2]

Three different types of research, all leading to similar conclusions.

But when it comes to diet and health-related research, there are new headlines every day – sometimes with opposite claims. Coffee itself isn’t immune from this phenomenon, and it’s easy to see why.

Since the early 1990’s, at least 2,700 coffee and health related studies have been reported by researchers from all around the world.[3] With new coffee and health headlines emerging on a weekly basis, it is important that coffee drinkers think smart about the coffee and health news that breaks over their morning cup of coffee, some of which may even appear to be contradictory.

If you’re trying to stay up-to-date on coffee and health research, here are 4 things to keep in mind when reading the headlines.

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