New Study Shows Coffee May Help You Live Longer

Coffee Drinker

For generations, coffee drinkers have enjoyed their cup of Joe because it gave them that caffeine lift in the morning. And real Java junkies know that coffee is not just for breakfast anymore. In fact, many coffee drinkers are well documented as enjoying three or more cups a day, raising all sorts of red flags in the health field. Could drinking more coffee be bad for you?

On the contrary it appears. Coffee, caffeinated or decaffeinated, may help extend the lives of people who drink it daily, a recent U.S. study found. And apparently, the more the merrier.

Men who drank 2 to 3 cups a daily had a 10 percent chance of living longer than those who drank no coffee, while women had a 13 percent advantage, according to research published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the AARP.

The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever on coffee consumption, and the results appear to reassure coffee lovers who think it’s a vice and may do more harm than good.
“Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman, PhD of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking.”

No one knows why. Coffee contains a thousand things that can affect health. Coffee has already been shown by numerous studies to do plenty of wonderful things for your body. And now perhaps it’s a percolating fountain of youth. Coffee boosts concentration and reduces the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

In this largest study to ever look at the link between coffee and health, this research shows that coffee lowers the risk for death from a wide variety of major diseases.

But how many cups do you really have to drink to potentially tack on years to your life? Is it a practical amount or one of those absurd laboratory amounts that you often see in studies?

More than 400,000 men and women ages 50 to 71 filled out questionnaires and asked them to report their coffee intake. They noted whether they drank mostly caffeinated or decaf coffee, what type (regular ground, instant, espresso, etc.) and whether they added products such as cream or sugar.

Regardless of the drink’s caffeine content, the way the coffee was made or how much milk and/or sugar was used, the more coffee that people drank—up to about five cups a day—the lower their risk for death at the end of the 13-year study from health problems including heart disease, respiratory conditions, diabetes, stroke and infection.

Drinking 8 ounces a day offered a 5% to 6% chance of living longer; 16 to 24 ounces 10% to 13%; 32 to 40 ounces 12% to 16%; 48 ounces or more 10% to 15%.
Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little: 6 per cent in men and 5 per cent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day – a 16 per cent lower risk of death.

Researchers don’t know yet exactly what properties of coffee may be helpful in preventing death. Coffee’s most famous constituent is caffeine, of course, but in reality coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds, including antioxidants and many others. Any of these could play a role. More research is needed, says Freedman.

According to a new book, The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey, Kensington Publishers, “While coffee types have different healing properties, coffee itself has many healing powers. It’s the antioxidants: These enzymes work both inside the body and outside the body to help stave off disease. Thanks to the researchers who think outside of the box and inside the bag or can of coffee, we no know America’s favorite beverage can lower rates of life-threatening diseases. That cup of coffee may stave off cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. The consensus is coffee, yes, coffee can be good for your health.”

“Coffee can relieve a host of ailments, including asthma, dental woes, gallstones, headaches, short-term memory loss, muscle pain, as well as help you slim down and shape up!”

For more information on this study or Orey’s book, visit online at www.nejm.org or www.calorey.com/Coffee.html.

Information for this article compiled from national news stories.

Look for more articles about coffee, when our Guide To A Healthy Cup of Coffee continues in our November, December and January editions. To participate in the GUIDE with an ad, listing or article, call 314-962-7748 today!