Another Cup? More Coffee Could Be Linked to Longer Life Span

Researchers say that those who drink six or seven cups of coffee per day are 16 percent less likely to die from any disease over a 10-year period than those who never have a cup of Joe. 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.

"But here's a situation where there was always some feeling of, 'Oh, can't be - I enjoy it too much, it can't be good for me.' And now we're finding out that it's good". If there were a big study on fruits and vegetables lowering the risk of dying, we'd all just shrug, she said.

The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. While the study represents an median view of coffee drinking habits, it is encouraging reading for lovers of the toasted bean.

According to lead author Dr Erikka Loftfield, a cancer epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, the results held true whether the type of coffee drank was ground, instant or decaffeinated.

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.

Past studies have indicated an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's and cancers of the liver, bowel, colon and endometrium.

Ms Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

For the study, researchers invited 9 million British adults to take part; 498,134 women and men aged 40 to 69 agreed.

Participants filled out questionnaires about daily coffee consumption, exercise and other habits, and received physical exams including blood tests.

During the next decade, 14,225 participants died, mostly of cancer or heart disease.

Caffeine can cause short-term increases in blood pressure, and some smaller studies have suggested that it might be linked with high blood pressure, especially in people with a genetic variation that causes them to metabolise caffeine slowly.

As with all studies like this in which researchers observe a group of people over time, this study can't prove that coffee is the cause of the reduced risk of death.

Several studies have shown caffeine to boost the metabolic rate by between three and 11 percent.

Additionally, "coffee drinkers were more likely than abstainers to drink alcohol and smoke, but the researchers took those factors into account, and coffee drinking seemed to cancel them out".

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar. But Ms Lichtenstein said loading coffee with extra fat and calories isn't healthy.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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