Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Coffee drinking connected to lower risk of death, study finds

Anna Jefferson | 03 July, 2018, 21:37

"It's hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us".

Previous studies have found coffee drinkers have a 15 percent lower risk of death and are less likely to die from respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It includes about half a million Brits who contributed their data and DNA to the United Kingdom biobank, and it finds an inverse relationship between people drinking up to eight or more cups per day and all-cause mortality.

Half-a-million British adults who consumed coffee for more than 10 years were observed.

So there you have it: a habit that so many of us enjoy that is suggested, once again, to actually be good for us. If there were a big study on fruits and vegetables lowering the risk of dying, we'd all just shrug, she said.

After 10 years of the study, results showed that non-coffee drinkers were more likely to have died than those who didn't drink coffee. Participants answered questions about their coffee-drinking habits, health history, and smoking and drinking tendencies, among other things.

The fact that decaf was also determined to have a positive impact suggests that coffee compounds, not caffeine, could be the key to the drink's apparent life lengthening success, the study's lead author Erikka Loftfield told Live Science.

Results aside, however, it is still not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity.

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It might reduce inflammation in the body, improve how insulin gets used, it might help liver function and it might benefit the linings of the blood vessels. Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

Researchers convinced 498,134 British men and women to fill out questionnaires that described their daily coffee consumption.

Among the most striking findings in the study: It didn't matter whether you drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, and it didn't matter whether you drank instant or brewed coffee. But evidence also suggests caffeine could cause high blood pressure or heart attacks in those who find it tough to metabolize.

"Participants drinking four or more cups per day, compared with those drinking less coffee and nondrinkers, were more likely to drink instant coffee and be current smokers, whereas participants drinking one to three cups per day were older, more likely to have a university degree, and more likely to report "excellent" health".

During the period of the study, over 14,000 participants died.

Years ago, health concerns about coffee included fears that it might raise risk of pancreatic cancer and other diseases.

That means, for example, if you're adding 500 calories of cream and sugar to a coffee beverage the size of a Big Gulp, you might want to keep an eye on that.

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