February 21, 2018

Drinking coffee may lead to longer life

12 July 2017, 12:41 | Ruben Fields

Grab a cup of joe it’s national coffee day

Grab a cup of joe it’s national coffee day

The studies were observational and therefore demonstrate an association, rather than proving cause and effect.

Though the study authors aren't able to say that this association between coffee consumption and lowered risk of death means that drinking more coffee will help you live longer, the results are certainly encouraging if you down multiple cups a day.

Similar results were reported by American scientists who conducted a separate investigation, recruiting 185,855 participants from different ethnic backgrounds.

The habits of coffee-lovers were shown to add years to their life - with high coffee consumption shown to reduce the risk of death from diseases related to circulation and digestion in particular.

The link was even stronger for people who drank two to three cups a day; that group saw an 18 percent reduced risk of death.

Similarly, the USA study found that those who drank one cup of coffee a day were 12 per cent less likely to have passed away during the study, while those who drank three cups were 18 per cent less likely.

Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC commented that lower mortality was present regardless of whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine. "We can not say, OK, [if] you drink coffee it is going to prolong your life". Just take it as a little bit of evidence that your coffee habit might not be as very bad as everyone thinks.

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Experts say more research is needed to determine which of the compounds in coffee may be giving a protective health benefit.

For instance, the European study left out people who had cancer, heart disease or diabetes, in other words it studied people over 35 who were already more or less healthy.

We're taking this as permission to pour a full-strength coffee nightcap. "But the research on coffee has mostly shown no harm to people's health".

Those who drank more coffee were also more likely to be younger, to be smokers, drinkers, eat more meat and less fruit and veg. "Coffee drinking provides exposure to a range of biologically active compounds, and higher consumption has been linked with lower levels of inflammation, insulin resistance, and risk for diabetes", the study notes.

The results don't necessarily mean coffee directly prevents people from dying, but researchers suggest they should at least reassure people who can't get by without their daily cup of joe. The more coffee those participants consumed, the lower their risk of death, researchers found. "This ... gives us greater confidence that coffee may have beneficial health effects".

It is estimated that more than 2 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide every day.

The US researchers also looked at death rates over a period of 16 years. But if you enjoy a cup of coffee everyday, you might want thank your barista (or your coffee machine): It's a habit that could, in the long run, save your life.

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