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New research says drinking coffee increases longevity

New research says drinking coffee increases longevity
August 04
12:04 2018

Caffeinated, decaf, instant — even eight cups a day — all types of coffee appear to help lower the risk of dying early, according to new research.
If you’re a coffee lover, new research may perk up your day. In the largest study of its kind, scientists from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health discovered that the more coffee individuals drink, the longer they may live. “We observed an inverse association for coffee drinking with mortality, including those drinking filtered, instant, and decaffeinated coffee,” says lead author Erikka Loftfield, PhD, a research fellow with the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland.
Based on data on nearly half a million British people, the study, published in the July 2 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, reported that those who enjoyed one cup of coffee a day had an 8 percent lower risk of early death, while those who drank eight or more cups a day cut their risk by 14 percent, compared with those who didn’t drink coffee.

Mounting evidence that coffee may be healthful
While the study is limited by being strictly observational and not a clinical trial based on randomly selected participants, Dr. Loftfield says the research contributes to a growing number of scientific investigations showing that coffee may have beneficial health effects.
“Research over the past 10 years or so has found good evidence that coffee drinking in moderation lowers the risk for heart disease, [type 2] diabetes, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions,” says Sarah Samaan, MD, a cardiologist at the Baylor Scott & White Legacy Heart Center in Plano, Texas, and the author of Best Practices for a Healthy Heart. “This study is particularly strong because it includes over 500,000 participants.”
Samaan, who was not involved with the study, notes that one surprising finding here is that even heavy coffee drinkers appear to have a lower risk of death from heart disease and cancer, whereas some smaller studies have suggested that drinking more than three cups per day may be counterproductive to heart health.

Subjects in the current observational investigation had an average age of 57 and were followed over the course of 10 years. During that time, 14,255 died. Loftfield and her colleagues based their findings on demographic, lifestyle, and genetic data. They assessed potential confounding factors, including smoking, alcohol use, tea consumption, race, education level, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI).
What is it about coffee that appears to increase longevity?
Study authors indicate that non-caffeine components may be behind the inverse associations between coffee and mortality. “There are more than a thousand chemical compounds in coffee, including various antioxidants as well as substances that may affect inflammation and energy metabolism,” says Loftfield.

Antioxidants in coffee may not only reduce inflammation, according to Samaan, but also improve sensitivity to insulin and help to normalize the function of blood vessels in the heart and other organs.
The study authors concluded that their findings provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet. “For people who enjoy a good cup of coffee, and who have no side effects such as acid reflux, rapid heart rate, or anxiety with coffee, you can enjoy your morning joe with a clear conscience,” says Samaan.



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