Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Drinking coffee could lower risk of death, study finds

In this image taken on Feb. 27 2017 waiter Ciro Chierchia prepares a traditional espresso macchiato at a coffee bar in Milan Italy MoreCloseclosemore
Samantha Long | 04 July, 2018, 06:28

However, despite the findings, the researchers are warning people not to significantly increase their coffee intake in a freakish quest for eternal life.

That's because a massive new British study, examining the coffee habits and longevity of almost 500,000 adults, says there's an unmistakable across-the-board increase in longevity among people who drink lots of coffee.

Wellington barista Clarke Gardiner is welcoming evidence from a major United Kingdom study linking coffee consumption with a lower risk of premature death.

Your habit of guzzling coffee throughout the day could be the secret to a longer life. Volunteers for the study ranged from 38 to 73 years old, with a mean age of 57.

The results remained the same whether the coffee was ground, instant or decaffeinated. A recent study has shown coffee could cut the risk of death even in those who struggle to metabolize caffeine, scientists believe.

In a 10-year follow-up period, around 14,000 people in the study died (the leading causes of death were cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases).

"There has been concern about the health effects of heavy coffee drinking, particularly in participants with common genetic polymorphisms that affect caffeine metabolism", the researchers wrote.

The results don't prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research.

"But we know that within normal limits - as with something like fruit and vegetables - that if you enjoy it you might as well do so", she said. "It's the non-caffeine components that might be responsible for the association", she said.

People who drank coffee, no matter how much or what kind they drank, were less likely to die over that 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers, they reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Internal Medicine.

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For the study, the researchers collected data on more than 500,000 people who took part in a large, long-running British study.

Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes. Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

"Coffee makes you happy, it gives you something to look forward to in the morning", said Taylor, a sound engineer from Las Vegas.

"I try to have just one cup daily", Taylor said. "Otherwise I get a little hyper".

The inverse association with mortality continued right up to eight cups of coffee a day, suggesting we shouldn't worry too much about overdoing our coffee consumption.

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

When all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolisers had a longevity boost.

Instead they have advised that the drink be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar.

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