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Drinking Coffee May Help You Live Longer – Study

By Chidirim Ndeche 05 July 2018   |   10:00 am

Good news for coffee lovers. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s journal (JAMA Internal Medicine) has associated drinking coffee — whether caffeinated, decaf, instant or filtered — with a lower risk of early death.

Cup of happy coffee. Photo: Medical News Today

The study from the U.S. National Cancer Institute used information from more than half a million British volunteers who provided blood samples and answered detailed health and lifestyle questions. Almost one-third of those in the study drank two or three cups of coffee daily, and 10,000 hardcore types downed at least eight cups daily.

The risk reduction varied slightly depending on the amount of coffee consumed, the caffeine content and whether it was instant or ground. But overall, relative to non-drinkers, those who drank one cup of coffee per day had an 8% lower risk of premature death. The rate rose slightly as consumption increased, peaking at 16% for those drinking six to seven cups, and dipping slightly to 14% for those having eight or more cups each day.

“We observed an inverse association for coffee drinking with mortality, including among participants who reported drinking at least one cup per day, up to eight or more cups per day, as well as those drinking filtered, instant and decaffeinated coffee,” said Dr. Erikka Loftfield, the study’s lead investigator and a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, in an email to TIME.

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.

The study also debunked prior research that showed consumption of coffee may lead to increased risk of high blood pressure and heart attack among those who metabolise caffeine slowly. Those studies only looked at coffee drinking after disease occurrence and did not examine the overall mortality risk.

But because the current study was observational, meaning it looked only at patterns in an existing dataset, it’s impossible to say what is — or even if coffee is truly responsible for keeping death at bay, or just associated with a longer life.

Next, the study team may delve into how the drink was prepared, to see if the choice of unfiltered coffee and filtered coffee can affect health.

Although some past studies have linked coffee and other hot beverages to cancer, the World Health Organisation just last month concluded that there’s inadequate evidence to call coffee a carcinogen.

So, it doesn’t matter how you like your coffee or how much you drink it. Just brew it!

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