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How many cups of coffee a day will help you live longer? If any….
A 14 year study suggests that people who drink a number of cups of coffee have a two-thirds chance of living longer. But what's in the coffee that makes it happen? That's a question for another study…
Drinking four (quite a lot!) cups of coffee a day can help you avoid premature death according to a new, comprehensive study of 20,000 participants and middle-aged participants, who found that regular and frequent coffee drinkers had a two-thirds lower chance of dying younger.
Previous studies have found that coffee drinking improves liver function, reduces inflammation in the body and strengthens the immune system. Now, the new study shows that it may also reduce the risk of premature death for a variety of reasons, at up to two-thirds.
Each additional 2 cups of coffee consumed by participants in the trial were associated with a 22 percent reduction in mortality and among the oldest participants the decline was even 30 percent. Those who drank 4 cups of coffee per day were even 64 percent less likely to die at an earlier age than those who did not drink coffee or drink it infrequently.
The present study is an observational study and therefore can not provide evidence that high coffee consumption is responsible for the improvement in mortality, but it is consistent with the results of another study in the United States that claims that 3 cups of coffee may significantly prolong life expectancy.
But what is it in the Coffee?
It's not the caffeine!
Coffee contains a number of chemical compounds that create interactions in the human body such as caffeine and antioxidants. Scientists believe that some have virtues that contribute to the protection of cells in the body.
In the past there have been a number of studies that point to a similar benefit produced by people who drink decaffeinated coffee regularly which leads scientists to suspect that it is the antioxidant compounds that have the most significant benefits, not the caffeine.
The new study was conducted in Spain, it followed 19,986 men and women aged 25-60 over a period of 10 years on average. At the start of the study, all participants gave detailed information about their dietary habits including coffee consumption plus lifestyle, and their medical history.
Later, the researchers from the Navarre Hospital asked to analyze the mortality rates within the group of subjects, of whom 337 died during the study period.
The lowest mortality rates were found among those who consumed coffee routinely, with the strongest link between coffee drinking and reduced mortality among older participants.
"I would recommend drinking plenty of coffee, it might be good for the heart," said Dr. Adela Nabarro, lead author of the study, who said she believed antioxidants in coffee with polyphenols were responsible for the effect.
“I would say that four cups of coffee a day is a good idea. In my opinion, it's because of their polyphenols and anti-inflammatory effect" she said.
But how much is too much?
According to Dr. Navarro, although most of the participants in the study were relatively young (the median age of the participants was 37) and therefore relatively few deaths within the study group, the findings were consistent with and corroborated by other similar studies.
The study does not provide a bottom line for the upper limit of recommended coffee consumption per day, but it also did not include many participants whose coffee consumption was excessive.
What do we think? Hmm, we’re not sure or one hundred percent convinced. Seeing as it is not the caffeine that could help you live longer maybe there are more healthy ways these benefits could be taken in to your body.
But enjoy your coffee, responsibly!