Recent research suggests that drinking three cups of coffee a day can help you live longer. There has been a lot of research lately surrounding the health benefits of coffee but can it really add years to your life?
The European research was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine and at the same time another study was published in the US which supported the findings. Essentially the research looked at data from people who were already enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition to see if there was a link between coffee consumption and deaths.
There were 451,743 people involved in the study. Most are aged over 35 and live in 10 European countries, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK. Those taking part recorded how many cups of coffee they consumed each day and from this consumption was recorded as non-consumption, low consumption(up to 83ml), low to medium consumption(up to 380ml), medium to high consumption(up to 488ml) and high consumption(above 488ml). Data on deaths was then collated and a cross reference made on coffee drinking habits.
Findings From The Research
The two main findings of the research were that men who drank the highest amount of coffee had a 12% lower risk of death than non-consumers. Women who drank the highest amount of coffee had a 7% lower risk of death than non-consumers. The official conclusion from the researchers was, "Our results suggest that higher levels of coffee drinking are associated with lower risk for death from various causes, specifically digestive and circulatory diseases."
They added: "Because coffee consumption is so widespread and intakes are modifiable, its potentially beneficial clinical implications should be carefully considered."
We do need to be cautious about the results however for a number of reasons. Firstly people in the study may have different socio economic circumstances and family histories which could impact on their health. Also, people with cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes are excluded from the study. The study also relies on people recording their daily coffee consumption which may not be highly accurate. Recordings also reflect one point in time, peoples coffee drinking habits can change at different times in their lives. It may simply be as well that those people who drink coffee also have healthier lives in general.
The research doesn’t suggest that drinking coffee will reduce your risk of death. There will be other factors that would need to be taken into account. But the research does suggest that drinking coffee can be part of a healthy balanced diet. Most agree that the best way to improve your chances of living a long healthy life is to eat a healthy balanced diet and of course to exercise. Also, a good cup of coffee here and there may also help!