Can Coffee Increase Your Lifespan?

August 4, 2008

I am a coffee drinker.  I usually have a cup of coffee everyday and nothing more.  Except on occasions where I take another cup in the afternoon but usually I average only 5-7 cups per week.  I’ve written about the many benefits of coffee in this website and in the newpapers…and seems like more benefits are being known the more we know about coffee.

Now comes a recently published article on coffee and mortality published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, June of 2008: the official journal of the American College of Physicians.

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Design: to investigate the association between coffee consumption and incidence of all-cause and disease-specific mortality in a prospective cohort study.

Setting: Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study: 41 736 men and 86 214 women with no history of CVD or cancer at baseline.

Results: After adjustment for age, smoking, and other CVD and cancer risk factors, the relative risks for all-cause mortality in men across categories of coffee consumption (<1 cup per month, 1 cup per month to 4 cups per week, 5 to 7 cups per week, 2 to 3 cups per day, 4 to 5 cups per day, and 6 cups per day) were 1.0, 1.07 (95% CI, 0.99 to 1.16), 1.02 (CI, 0.95 to 1.11), 0.97 (CI, 0.89 to 1.05), 0.93 (CI, 0.81 to 1.07), and 0.80 (CI, 0.62 to 1.04), respectively (P for trend = 0.008). For women, the relative risks were 1.0, 0.98 (CI, 0.91 to 1.05), 0.93 (CI, 0.87 to 0.98), 0.82 (CI, 0.77 to 0.87), 0.74 (CI, 0.68 to 0.81), and 0.83 (CI, 0.73 to 0.95), respectively (P for trend < 0.001). This inverse association was mainly due to a moderately reduced risk for CVD mortality and was independent of caffeine intake.

By contrast, coffee consumption was not statistically significantly associated with risk for cancer death after adjustment for potential confounders.

Decaffeinated coffee consumption was associated with a small reduction in all-cause and CVD mortality.

Conclusion: Regular coffee consumption was not associated with an increased mortality rate in either men or women. The possibility of a modest benefit of coffee consumption on all-cause and CVD mortality needs to be further investigated.

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To further summarize the data in layman’s terms:

  • This study shows that increasing consumption of coffee was associated with decreasing mortality or death.  
  • People who drank at least 5 -7 cups of coffee per week had a significantly LOWER overall risk of dying from any cause. 
  • People who drank 4-5 cups per day or more had the strongest protection.

What was interesting also in the study was that among women who were coffee drinkers, most reduction in death was due to a reduction in cardiovascular disease. What I like most in coffee are the studies showing its frequent consumption to result in a reduction albeit small, in the risk of diabetes.

Is Regular better than Decaf?  Well, In the study, whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, benefits were noted, suggesting that the one product present in coffee that results in health benefits maybe its high levels of polyphenols  known to reduce inflammation and also known to provide other positive effects on the heart, blood vessels, and blood sugar.

What more can you ask?

I will continue to enjoy my coffee everyday whatever benefits they give me is already a PLUS!!!!

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3 Responses to “Can Coffee Increase Your Lifespan?”


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