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Coffee drinking may lead to a longer life, study finds

03 July 2018

That's because a massive new British study, examining the coffee habits and longevity of almost 500,000 adults, says there's an unmistakable across-the-board increase in longevity among people who drink lots of coffee.

We've guzzled down similar findings before: Just last summer, two separate studies delivered similar good news about coffee and mortality.

In a survey of over a half-million people in the United Kingdom, researchers found that people who drank up to, or more than, eight cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of early death compared to those who didn't.

Drawing information from the UK's Biobank data resource, which holds information on around nine million people, researchers were also able to profile British java drinkers.

But for some coffee lovers, this may be the only evidence needed to enjoy more coffee. "It's the non-caffeine components that might be responsible for the association", she said. Participants answered questions about their coffee-drinking habits, health history, and smoking and drinking tendencies, among other things.

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Lead author of the study Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the US National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than 1000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage. Those who drank six to seven cups a day saw a 16 percent decrease.

Results aside, however, it is still not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity.

The researchers, who published their results in JAMA on Monday, found that those whose coffee intake was high fared the best.

But previous studies conducted in the US, Europe and Asia have found a consistent link between coffee drinking and reduced deaths from all causes including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease and liver, bowel and womb cancer.

Ms Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

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Researchers convinced 498,134 British men and women to fill out questionnaires that described their daily coffee consumption.

During the period of the study, over 14,000 participants died. Additionally, it took into account a wide range of drinking habits, from no caffeine up to eight cups of coffee per day, while also exploring associations with decaf and instant coffee.

Several studies have shown caffeine to boost the metabolic rate by between three and 11 percent.

Among the most striking findings in the study: It didn't matter whether you drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, and it didn't matter whether you drank instant or brewed coffee.

That means, for example, if you're adding 500 calories of cream and sugar to a coffee beverage the size of a Big Gulp, you might want to keep an eye on that.

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