Want to Live Longer? Drink More Coffee
Coffee has already won our hearts, now it’s also winning scientists’ approval around the globe. There have been many studies in the past showing the numerous benefits of drinking coffee, and now researchers are saying that coffee lovers have a greater chance of increasing their longevity. Cheers to that!
Coffee and Longevity
The benefits of drinking coffee just keep getting better and better. According to a new study, America’s favorite beverage can also lower the risk of early death no matter how much of it you consume every day and whether you prefer caffeinated or non-caffeinated coffee.
The research, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that coffee consumption has an inverse relationship with mortality, and the benefits were even seen in people who only drank one cup of it per day. Researchers also observed that people’s preference of coffee, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, filtered or freshly brewed, hot or cold, didn’t have an impact on how much they lowered their risk of early death.
Dr. Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at National Cancer Institute and the lead investigator of the study explained that they took data on almost 500,000 U.K. adults who filled out health questionnaires and underwent physical examinations for U.K. Biobank. The data included information about the participants’ health history, smoking habits, coffee consumption and other lifestyle factors which were all taken into consideration before deriving a conclusion.
The study was conducted over a period of 10 years during which almost 14,200 of the participants passed away. Even though the results showed that coffee had longevity benefits across the board no matter how little or how much of it one consumed – even the type of coffee they drank didn’t affect the benefits. However, the amount of coffee consumed had an indirect relationship with early death risk: the more the participants drank, the lower their risk of dying early became.
With all other factors accounted for, researchers concluded that people who drank only one cup of coffee per day lowered their risk of premature death by 8 per cent. The rate increased with the amount of coffee consumed, with people who drank over 6 cups of coffee every day reducing their death risks by 16 per cent.
Of course, like with all good things, the benefits of coffee tend to decrease with excessive consumption. Researchers noticed that people who drank seven cups of coffee didn’t benefit from addition risk reduction whereas participants who consumed eight cups or more increased their death risk by 2 per cent in comparison to those who only drank 6 cups or less.
The longevity wasn’t affected by how slowly a person’s body metabolized coffee, unlike previous studies which concluded that people who aren’t able to metabolize coffee quickly tend to increase their chances of suffering from a heart attack or high blood pressure. But the aim of those studies was not to determine the overall mortality risk in association with coffee consumption, but to actually determine the risk of heart-related complications in people who already had pre-existing health conditions.
Caffeine isn’t the Answer
The latest research gives a more robust analysis of caffeine consumption and its effects on longevity since researchers used a significant amount of genetic data from the Biobank study, including that of people who had slower metabolism rate.
The researchers say that since drinking decaffeinated coffee has the same effect on longevity as normal coffee, it is evident that the life-lengthening ingredient in java isn’t actually caffeine. Since the researchers only conducted an observational study, examining only the patterns in a dataset, it is hard to determine what is really causing the decrease in death risk by simply looking at the research.
Loftfield explains that her research doesn’t answer the question about how coffee consumption reduces death rate, but it does pave way for future research which could unveil the potential biological mechanisms behind the consumption of this miracle beverage.
Although there have been many conflicting studies in the past which have associated the consumption of coffee and other hot beverages with an increased cancer risk, World Health Organization discredited all such studies last month on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
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