You can drink that cup of coffee with a little more enthusiasm, knowing you’ll live longer, right? A study authored by a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute shows that coffee can boost the chance for long life, even for those that drink eight cups a day!
The study was published on 2 July in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, but it doesn’t explain why coffee affects longevity.
However, this study is the first large one to involve almost half-a-million British adults, also including people with issues on how their body used caffeine.
The study found that instant, ground and decaffeinated boosted longevity, and after a decade, the follow-up shows that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death than the abstainers.
It Is Reassuring
Coffee drinkers were 10-15% less likely to die after ten years of follow-up. Difference like the amount of coffee or genetic variations didn’t affect the results.
“It’s hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us. Or at least not be bad,” said Alice Lichtenstein, who is a Tufts University nutrition expert. She was not involved in the research, but she admits that the results echo previous research, adding reassurance for coffee drinkers.
The lead author of the study and researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Erikka Loftfield, stated that coffee contains over 1,000 chemical compounds, and includes antioxidants which protect cells from being damaged. She added that the next step in her research is to explain why it boosts longevity.
She and her team invited 9 million British adults, and only 498,134 women and men (40-69-year-olds) agreed. The low participation rate showed that the ones that were involved were healthier than the general population in the U.K.
Participants filled out questionnaires, answering questions about daily coffee consumption, exercise, and habits. Then, they received physical exams and blood tests. Most of them were coffee drinkers. A third (154,000) drank 2-3 cups of coffee every day, and 10,000 drank over 8 cups of coffee daily.
After ten years, 14,225 participants died, most of them of heart disease or cancer.
Black Coffee is Healthy
In the study, coffee drinkers didn’t have an increased risk of dying from heart disease or other blood pressure causes compared to the nondrinkers. Combining all causes of death, researchers found that even people with a slow caffeine metabolism lived longer.
Researchers took into consideration factors like alcohol drinking and smoking – as coffee drinkers were more likely to have these habits. However, drinking coffee canceled these factors out.
Lichtenstein explains that the study didn’t ask participants if they drank black coffee or with cream and sugar. She explains that it’s not healthy to add fat and calories to it.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere