Coffee and longevity - is there a connection?

Can drinking a couple of cups a day of coffee protect you from early death?

More scientific evidence claims that moderate consumption of coffee is good for your health. The new study results show that drinking two to three coffee cups daily can protect you from cardiovascular disease and early death.


According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, coffee significantly lowers the risk of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and stroke for different types of coffee. Only ground coffee and instant coffee with caffeine reduced the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). The researchers said that decaffeinated coffee did not lower that risk.


The latest study is based on data from the UK Biobank. This research database contains information about the coffee consumption preferences of nearly 450,000 adults in the UK. 


The participants were free of arrhythmia or other cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study. The scientists divided them into four groups: those who drank caffeinated ground coffee, those who drank decaffeinated coffee, those who chose caffeinated instant coffee, and those who did not drink coffee at all.


The researchers examined medical and death records for reports of arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, stroke and death after over 12 years and adjusted them for age, diabetes, ethnicity, high blood pressure, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, sex, smoking status, tea and alcohol consumption and they found all types of coffee, including decaffeinated coffee were linked with a reduction in death from any cause.


Participants who drank two to three cups of coffee had the most significant reduction in early death compared to people who drank no coffee. Ground coffee consumption lowered the risk of death by 27%, decaffeinated coffee by 14%, and instant caffeinated coffee by 11%. 


Drinking two to three cups a day of ground coffee lowered the risk of heart disease and stroke by 20%, while the same amount of decaf coffee reduced risk by 6% and instant coffee by 9%.


The data changed regarding coffee’s impact on arrhythmia: four to five cups of caffeinated ground coffee daily lowered risk by 17%, while two to three cups a day of instant coffee reduced the possibility of irregular heartbeat by 12%.


“The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle,” said study author Peter Kistler, head of clinical electrophysiology research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and head of electrophysiology at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.


Previous studies have also found that coffee (3 to 5 cups daily) was linked to lower the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, diabetes, dementia and prostate cancer. 


Coffee health benefits are not only related to the caffeine content as coffee contains more than 100 biologically active components. 


The results are promising however scientists agree there must be more medical studies must be conduct to prove a direct cause and effect of coffee. 




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