Coffee lovers have a reason to celebrate their favorite beverage. Two new studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirm that people who drink more coffee live longer.
Studies of People Who Drink Coffee:
The first study included more than half a million people in 10 European countries. During the 16 years of the study, people who reported drinking the most coffee were significantly less likely to die than those who drank the least. The longevity advantage for men was 12 percent and for women it was 7 percent.
Coffee drinkers were less likely to die of digestive diseases. In addition, the women who consumed the most coffee were less likely to die of cardiovascular causes. They were more susceptible to ovarian cancer, however.
Americans Who Drink More Coffee Also Benefit:
Another study published in the same issue looked at coffee drinking in the US. A multi-ethnic cohort included 185,000 middle-aged African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans and Latinos as well as whites. Compared to no coffee, those who drank two or more cups daily were 18 percent less likely to die during the 16-year study. Caffeinated and decaf coffee appeared to have the same effect.
Is Coffee Part of a Healthy Diet?
An editorial in the same journal concludes that “moderate coffee intake can be part of a healthy diet.” The editorialists caution that sugar, cream or cream substitutes can add calories and might interfere with the benefits.
They warn that it is premature to recommend that people drink more coffee. But those of us who already enjoy it should not feel guilty about our java habit.
Previous Evidence in Favor of Coffee:
Scientists have been debating the pros and cons of coffee for many years. Just a few years ago, Harvard investigators published their findings from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Volunteers who drank three to five cups a day were 15 percent less likely to die during the study. Coffee drinkers had fewer strokes, heart attacks, neurological problems and suicides.