Will I live longer if I drink coffee??
A large study involving nearly 500,000 Britons found an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality—meaning the more coffee participants drank, the fewer health complications they had. This suggests that individuals who drank up to eight cups of coffee per day had a slightly lower chance of dying during the 10-year study period.
Does it matter if the coffee is caffeinated?
Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to matter whether the coffee is caffeinated or not. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, regardless of brewing method (instant or ground), showed positive effects on reducing mortality.
While caffeine is the most well-known compound in coffee, the beverage contains over 100 biologically active components. These non-caffeinated compounds likely play a role in the positive health effects associated with coffee consumption.
How many cups of coffee should I drink for maximum benefits?
While the study found that drinking up to 8 cups of coffee—or more—yielded the most benefits, moderate coffee consumption of two to three cups of coffee a day was associated with a longer lifespan and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and arrhythmias.
A big study analyzing nearly 500,000 Britons recently added to the spate of coffee-is-good-for-you news: The new data suggest that a cup a day — or two or four or even eight — might actually be good for you.
Well, maybe not good for you, specifically; it might make you jittery or have trouble sleeping. There are plenty of personal sensitivities to coffee and caffeine.
But the study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looks at the very big picture. It includes about half a million Brits who contributed their data and DNA to the U.K. biobank, and it finds an inverse relationship between people drinking up to eight or more cups per day and all-cause mortality. So if you drank that coffee, you had a slightly lower chance of dying during the 10 years the study examined.
According to the study, people who drink up to eight cups of coffee per day may slightly lower their risk of early death compared with non-drinkers.
The biggest shock?
It doesn’t appear to matter if the coffee is caffeinated or decaf, brewed, or instant.
“There are many potential beneficial compounds in coffee,” said nutrition expert Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a July 2, 2018 WBUR article. Giovannucci, who was not involved in the study, added “— there are literally hundreds and thousands of compounds in coffee. People think of caffeine, but it’s likely that some of the most beneficial compounds are not the caffeine.”
The study analyzed data from about half a million Britons and found that the more coffee people drank, the lower their risk of dying during the 10-year study period. Drinking eight or more cups per day was linked with a 14% lower risk compared with not drinking any coffee.
Benefits of (moderate) coffee consumption.
Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with avoiding coffee, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC. The findings applied to ground, instant and decaffeinated varieties.
“In this large, observational study, ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.
“The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instantو and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Who participated in this coffee study?
This study examined the associations between types of coffee and incident arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease, and death using data from the UK Biobank, which recruited adults between 40 and 69 years of age. Cardiovascular disease was comprised of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and ischaemic stroke.
The study included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular disease at baseline. The median age was 58 years and 55.3% were women.
Coffee consumption categories.
Participants completed a questionnaire asking how many cups of coffee they drank each day, and whether they usually drank instant, ground (such as cappuccino or filtered coffee), or decaffeinated coffee.
They were then grouped into six daily intake categories, consisting of none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups per day.
The most commonly consumed type of coffee was instant in 198,062 (44.1%) participants, ground in 82,575 (18.4%), and decaffeinated in 68,416 (15.2%). There were 100,510 (22.4%) non-coffee drinkers who served as the comparator group.
Coffee drinkers were compared to non-drinkers for the incidence of arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease, and death, after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption.
Health outcomes of coffee drinkers vs. non-drinkers.
Outcome information was obtained from medical records and death records. The median follow-up was 12.5 years. A total of 27,809 (6.2%) participants died during follow-up.
All types of coffee were linked with a reduction in death from any cause.
The greatest risk reduction seen with two to three cups per day, which compared to no coffee drinking was associated with a 14%, 27%, and 11% lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively.
Coffee reduces cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease was diagnosed in 43,173 (9.6%) participants during follow-up. All coffee subtypes were associated with a reduction in incident cardiovascular disease.
Again, the lowest risk was observed with two to three cups a day, which compared to abstinence from coffee was associated with a 6%, 20%, and 9% reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease for decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee, respectively.
Coffee reduces arrhythmias.
An arrhythmia was diagnosed in 30,100 (6.7%) participants during follow-up.
Ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated, was associated with a reduction in arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.
Final thoughts on coffee and longevity.
Professor Kistler observed that “caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease, and survival.”
“Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart-healthy behavior.”