Coffee has long been touted as a beneficial drink capable of not only energizing you, but also bringing numerous health benefits. As more longitudinal studies are coming to their end, more evidence is accumulating, leading many a scientist to support the idea that daily coffee consumption is really beneficial. In a new study, they found that coffee can contribute to longevity.A new research carried out by a team of scientists from NIH and several other US research centers revealed that coffee intake is inversely associated with mortality, including both cause-specific and all-cause mortality. The study covered nearly 500,000 people from the UK invited to participate in the UK Biobank project. The participants’ age varied from 38 to 73; the share of females made up 54%. Not everyone was a coffee drinker, though the majority consumed it daily: 78% reported drinking coffee on a regular basis. The study lasted ten years, during which more than 14,000 people died. The scientists compared mortality rate in the coffee-consuming group with that of the non-drinking group, which was used as a reference one. Intake of coffee varied from one to eight cups a day, but all coffee-drinking participants appeared to have their hazard ratios decreased, compared to those who did not consume it.
Make way for decaf!Another interesting finding is that the effect was observed regardless of what kind of coffee they drank: it could be anything from instant to decaf, and even decaffeinated coffee turned out to produce the same effect, which led the researchers to think that it was not caffeine that was responsible for the contribution to lower mortality rates, but some other chemicals contained in the drink. The association was statistically significant even in the group of those who metabolize caffeine slowly, so if you cannot drink common caffeine-rich coffee due to suffering from some disease that prevents you from doing so, you can opt for decaf coffee and still enjoy its benefits. To identify slow caffeine metabolizers, the researchers looked for certain genetic changes pointing to the metabolic peculiarity. Those with changes in such genes as CYP2A6, AHR and some others had a slower rate of caffeine metabolism, but it did not stop coffee from having the same effect as in other groups of participants. The study results echo the one reported last year, according to which drinking coffee regularly could result in a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and mortality. In that study, the number of cups was 3-4 per day, which is within the range analyzed in this research.
Strong associationIt is difficult to say to what extent it reduces the risk, as the hazard ratios varied. For instance, in the 6-cups-a-day group, it varied from 0.70 to 0.92. Still, the reduction was observed in all coffee-drinking groups, which enabled the scientists to establish an association between coffee consumption and reduced mortality rates.
It is another piece of research that supports the idea that coffee is beneficial and can be considered part of a healthy diet. Before you start drinking coffee (if you still don’t), consult your GP to find out whether you have a condition that could be exacerbated by caffeine. Consider drinking decaf drinks if you have hypertension or some other cardiovascular disease.