Harvard Men's Health Watch

Coffee: What's the harm?

Q. I drink five or six cups of caffeinated coffee daily. Are there any known health risks to drinking a lot of coffee? Should I cut back?

A. Heavy coffee drinking may temporarily cause shaky hands, worsening heartburn, or "skipped" heartbeats. However, the studies conducted to date have not proved that drinking a lot of the brown brew does permanent harm to your health.

Many studies have examined the link between coffee and health, but it is difficult to isolate the effect of drinking coffee from other behaviors, like smoking and physical activity. In other words, researchers may discover trends in the health of coffee drinkers that might not actually have anything to do with drinking coffee.

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