Good news for coffee drinkers!

Java Juice

A little ramble

by Chris Hibbard

* * *

For all of you people out there addicted to that morning cuppa joe: congratulations! According to a recent study, coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer than their non-java junkie counterparts.

After nearly three decades of research by various groups trying to prove that coffee increases the risk of heart disease, “Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking.” The study was carried out by by the National Institutes of Health and AARP, and it’s results were published in last week’s Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Regular or decaf doesn’t seem to matter.  The NCI’s recent study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and while the results are surprising, the study does not give any real explanation for how or why. Coffee contains a thousand things that can affect the human body – from helpful antioxidants to tiny amounts of substances that are loosely linked to cancer.  However, the most dominant ingredient – our friend caffeine – — didn’t seem to play a big role in the results of  the study.

And while there is still evidence out there that suggests coffee can raise your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, and short-term blood pressure, both of which can raise the risk of heart disease,  a clear pattern emerged from the study: each cup of coffee drank per day, nudged up the chances of the drinker living longer.

The study took into account the fact that coffee drinkers were also more likely to smoke, to indulge in alcohol, to eat red meat and get less exercise than non coffee drinkers. But once those things were considered, coffee drinkers that do not do have these other vices  are between 10 and 13 per cent less likely to die at any age. Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little: 6 per cent in men and 5 per cent in women. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart or respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, injuries, accidents or infections. No effect was seen on cancer death risk, though.

It is this coffee drinkers opinion that coffee just makes people more alert, often makes them more talkative and sociable, and frankly – just makes a lot of people happier. And with alertness, an active social network, and a cup full of happiness – life expectancy goes up.  It’s just nice to know that a staple of my standard morning routine could actually add several years to my life.

Read more here:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010?query=featured_home

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~ by Chris Hibbard on May 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Good news for coffee drinkers!”

  1. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer. These results from a large study of older adults were observed after adjustment for the effects of other risk factors on mortality, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Researchers caution, however, that they can’t be sure whether these associations mean that drinking coffee actually makes people live longer. The results of the study were published in the May 17, 2012 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

  2. Study limitations included self-reported tea and coffee consumption, and the lack of specific information on the type of tea participants drank. However, black tea accounts for 78 percent of the total tea consumed in The Netherlands and green tea accounts for 4.6 percent. Coffee and tea drinkers have very different health behaviors, researchers note. Many coffee drinkers tend to also smoke and have a less healthy diet compared to tea drinkers.

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