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Professor Elina Hypponen. Professor Elina Hypponen. Featured
15 May 2020 Posted by 


But that won't stop the morning buzz
COFFEE has joined the long list of life’s pleasures that are bad for us in excess, but that won’t stop business people 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 very 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.
“In this study, we used a genetic approach – called MR-PheWAS analysis – to establish the true effects of coffee consumption against 1117 clinical conditions.
“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.
“For people with a family history of osteoarthritis or arthritis, or for those who are worried about developing these conditions, these results should act as a cautionary message.
“The body generally sends powerful messages with respect to coffee consumption, so it’s imperative that individuals listen to these when consuming coffee.
“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.”
• Arthropathy, the most common form of which is arthritis, affects one in seven Australians and more than 54 million adults around the world.
• Osteoarthritis, a chronic and progressive arthropathy that mostly affects the hands, spine and joints such as hips, knees and ankles affects an estimated one in 11 Australians, and 300 million people worldwide.
• Obesity, which is growing in prevalence worldwide, with nearly 40% of adults over overweight and 13% obese. In Australia, 67%t of Australian adults are overweight or obese
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

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