Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity

Tuesday, 03 Jul, 2018

Dr Loftfield, of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, said: "Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking eight or more cups per day and those with genetic mutations indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism".

"There are many potential beneficial compounds in coffee - there are literally hundreds and thousands of compounds in coffee", he said. And the risk of death during the follow-up period was only slightly higher for people drinking around 4 cups of coffee a day compared with those who drank more than 8, he told Live Science.

Another large study of 500,000 people in Europe showed similar results to the recent United Kingdom research: men who drank three cups of coffee per day were 12% less likely to die over a 16-year period than coffee abstainers, and women who drank that much coffee were 7% less likely to die.

The researchers said: "The study provides further evidence that drinking coffee can be part of a healthy diet and offers reassurance to coffee drinkers". It can just say that people who drink coffee are less likely to die early.

The health benefits of the caffeinated pick-me-up have always been debated.

The research team plans to break down the Biobank data by coffee preparation type - pressed coffee, versus filtered coffee, for example, to see if that makes any difference to health.

Feel free to pour yourself a cup of coffee before reading this - even if you've already had some today.

A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses showed a reduced risk of suicide in coffee drinkers. More than half a million people volunteered to give blood and answer detailed health and lifestyle questions for ongoing research into genes and health.

The results don't prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research.

"Such people would be better to avoid too much coffee, or move toward decaffeinated choices, that this study has shown still have beneficial associations".

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's the non-caffeine components that might be responsible for the association", she said.

The results support the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which states consuming three to five cups of coffee per day, or 400 milligrams per day, of caffeine is not detrimental to healthy individuals.

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar.