A little coffee 'may help people live longer'
19 November 2015 09:03
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.
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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.