Drinking coffee, even decaf or instant, may help you live longer

Grant Boone
July 5, 2018

"These results provide further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and may provide reassurance to those who drink coffee and enjoy it", the authors wrote in the paper. It used participants' own reports of how many cups of coffee they drank per day.

But coffee drinkers in the United Kingdom study didn't have higher risks than nondrinkers of dying from heart disease and other blood pressure-related causes.

"Our current understanding of coffee and health is primarily based on findings from observational studies", Loftfield said. Over 10 years of follow-up, 14 225 deaths occurred. The research adds to the growing list of studies that highlight the benefits of drinking coffee. Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10-15 percent less likely to die than coffee abstainers. The researchers were then able to correlate the rates of death with the amount of coffee that each cohort described drinking each day.

The results were encouraging for coffee drinkers of all stripes; decaf devotees, instant coffee lovers, those who have variants of the genes associated with metabolizing caffeine, even people who drink up to eight cups of coffee per day-drinking coffee was associated with a lower mortality risk over the study period compared to non-coffee drinkers. Most of the subjects (154,000) drank two to three cups per day and 10,000 of them drank at least eight cups every day!

"We know that some people metabolize caffeine quite slowly and are less tolerant of the apparent physical affects of caffeine, which of course comes from many sources other than coffee".

We're not saying you should drink a giant cup of scalding coffee after a workout instead of water or gatorade, but you can't put all the dehydration blame on your morning grande latte. However, earlier studies focused primarily on health risks after the presence of such diseases were found.

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"These investigators looked at a very large sample size and what they concluded was actually the coffee was associated with better health outcomes", she said.

It is the No. 1 source in the American diet of antioxidants - chemical compounds that fight the damage to DNA caused by day-to-day living.

Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce the chance of developing diabetes.

The study notes that the results did not vary significantly by factors including age group, sex, and previous history heart disease or cancer.

The research team plans to break down the Biobank data by coffee preparation type - pressed coffee, versus filtered coffee, for example, to see if that makes any difference to health. Those who drank decaffeinated coffee too were similarly protected the study noted. Two studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in July connected coffee drinking to a longer life.

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