Monday, November 23, 2015

More Coffee Could Mean a Longer Life

Coffee is warm, delicious, and perfectly healthy to enjoy.

Happy Monday! Good news for coffee drinkers: the most recent studies suggest that drinking coffee can actually reduce the risk of premature death. Researchers collected data from 200,000 women and 50,000 men about their diets and coffee consumption, and the statistics suggest that people who drank less than three cups of coffee per day had between a 5% and 9% lower risk of dying prematurely than those who drank no coffee.

One to three cups reduced risk by 8% and three to five cups saw a 15% decrease in risk of death. Drinking coffee was linked to reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological disease, and even suicide—but only for people who also did not smoke.  When they began the study, researchers didn’t see an apparent connection between drinking coffee and dying prematurely. But when they only looked at participants who said that they did not smoke, that relationship became clearer, and the percentage of early-death risk was significantly lower.

Ming Ding, a doctoral student at Harvard who worked on the study, suggested that the “lower risk of mortality is consistent with our hypothesis that coffee consumption could be good for you because we have published papers showing that coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.” Of course, this study likely studied coffee that was either black or taken with milk—sorry, those delicious, seasonal Starbucks lattes still aren’t good for you!

The study does point to an interesting correlation, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other factors to consider. It’s possible that people who drink more coffee lead healthy lives in other areas—more exercise, less soda, even though coffee drinkers are more likely to drink alcohol and eat red meat. But coffee’s ingredients could be helping, too: chemicals like lignans and chlorogenic acid can help reduce inflammation and control blood sugar.

So for now, it seems like drinking coffee is a good thing for your health—cheers to that!