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A little coffee 'may help people live longer'

19 November 2015 09:03

Moderate coffee drinkers may live longer, data suggests

Moderate coffee drinkers may live longer, data suggests

Three to five coffees a day may help people live longer, a major new study has suggested.

US researchers think the answer may lie in bioactive non-caffeine compounds in the plant.

This is because the research results between caffeine coffee drinkers and caffeine-free coffee drinkers are virtually the same.

Scientists find that avoiding premature death from the following can be linked to modest coffee drinking:

- heart disease

- Type 2 diabetes

- Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions

There has been no link found with lower cancer death risks, however.

Holiday tonic

Whether a person likes coffee or tea, or something a bit stronger, a holiday abroad is one way of keeping them in a positive frame of mind.

Medical-related travel insurance can help holidaymakers stay happy by cushioning the worst surprises that a break may throw at them.

How the study worked

Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health's Ming Ding and his team studied data from three continuous research projects involving 208,501 people.

Respondents filled in food questionnaires on a four-year basis for about three decades to assess their coffee consumption habits.

The moderate coffee drinkers seemed to be living longer than those who either drank less or abstained altogether.

Researchers factored in people's lifestyles, including smoking, alcohol drinking, diet, exercise and body mass index (BMI).

The Circulation journal has just printed the findings.

What the experts say

Ding says the longer lifespans could be put down to coffee containing bioactive compounds which lower systematic inflammation and insulin resistance

Frank Hu, the report co-author, says the study builds on earlier research which points to the health benefits of modest coffee drinking.

But the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) Emily Reeve added a note of caution to Hu's optimism.

The BHF senior cardiac nurse says people should keep in mind that healthy hearts are dependent on healthy lifestyles rather than just coffee consumption levels.