Do coffee drinkers live longer?

by Matilda Charles

A new study looked at data to determine whether consuming coffee lowered the risk of premature death.

This was not a small, short-term study. The data was collected for over a decade on a half-million people who’d been part of the U.K. Biobank study. It looked at all manner of health information and daily living, such as health history, smoking, drinking, exercise and coffee consumption, as well as exams and tests. Researchers then looked at all their information in terms of longevity in coffee drinkers.

Here’s what they found:

Risk reduction rose depending on the amount of coffee consumed. One cup a day gave an 8 percent lower risk of early death, compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. That rose to a 16 percent lower risk for those having six or seven cups. At eight cups or more per day, however, the rate fell to 14 percent.

It didn’t matter what kind of coffee was consumed. It could be ground coffee, instant or filtered.

It didn’t matter whether the coffee was regular or decaffeinated.

Since both regular and decaf coffee had the same results, it’s not the caffeine that helps reduce the risk of death. Bottom line is that, with all the many chemicals in coffee, they just don’t know what part of coffee is helping.

A word of warning: Just because a study says coffee helps reduce risk of death, it doesn’t mean we should double or triple the amount we drink. That’s an individual thing and should be discussed with your doctor. If, for example, you already are on medication for high blood pressure, even the small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee could have an impact on how effective your medication is.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

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