Generations of coffee drinkers have been told to cut back on the amount of coffee they consume based on the assumption that it is bad for their health. Much of the stigma about coffee has been largely based on the high amount of caffeine in the drink. Research has shown, however, that there also could be some health benefits of coffee when it is consumed in moderation — three to four cups a day. There are concerns about too much coffee causing an increased heart rate, but some researchers believe that the heath benefits of coffee might outweigh the risks. Some of the health benefits of coffee might include a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and gall stone disease, as well as an increased rate of metabolism
Research has shown that coffee might have anti-cancer properties. Some studies indicate that the risk of liver cancer is reduced by 50 percent. Research also shows some correlation in the reduction of other cancers, such as colon and breast cancer.
The heath benefits of coffee for diabetes are believed to be twofold. Research has shown that it might reduce the risk of diabetes by as much as 50 percent. Another effect of coffee is to increase one's resting metabolism rate as well as possibly decreasing the blood sugar count. This can improve the health of diabetics as well as prevent the onset of this disease on those not afflicted.
Coffee also is believed to play a role in protection for men against Parkinson's disease, and regular coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from the symptoms of gall stone disease. This could be because coffee disturbs the cholesterol content of the bile made by the liver.
Despite evidence that there are some health benefits of coffee, experts disagree about whether those benefits outweigh the risks. Among the negative effects of coffee, especially when consumed in large amounts, are believed to be increased blood pressure and heart rate, an irregular heart beat, addiction, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. In addition, some studies have shown a connection between coffee and cardiovascular disease, indigestion, heartburn, osteoprosis in postmenopausal women and worsened symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Research also suggests that coffee might reduce fertility in women who are attempting to conceive.