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Study Reveals That Drinking Coffee May Help Lengthen Your Mortality Rate

Coffee is considered a great part of our lives. A day does not seem complete without drinking this beverage at least once. Some people consider this as part of their morning ritual- to drink a cup of this bittersweet drink before another day of grinding in work.

Coffee drinkers are going to love their favorite drink more after reading a new study which revealed that drinking coffee may help people live longer.

The Study

Lead investigator, Dr. Erikka Loftfield, revealed that they observed an inverse association of drinking coffee with the mortality rate. The researchers used the data they obtained from the UK Biobank study, where 500,000 UK adults participated in a series of physical examinations and completed answering the health questionnaires given.

The participants provided a detailed information about their coffee consumption, health history, as well as smoking and drinking habits. The participants’ coffee consumption results range from those who only drink one cup to those who drink more than 8 cups a day. The data also filtered the types of coffee they drink into three categories- filtered, instant, and decaffeinated coffee.

The said study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine last Monday

Ten years later, the researchers conducted a follow-up of the study and found that only around 14,200 of the people who had participated died. The researchers found longevity benefits associated with coffee consumption. Loftfield also revealed that the risk reduction of death depends on the person’s coffee consumption.

For example, those non-coffee drinkers- including those who only drink one cup of coffee per day only had 8% possibility of lowering their premature death. On the other hand, those who had consumed 6-7 cups of coffee daily doubled their risk reduction rate to 16%. However, there is a slight dip to 14% for those who consumed eight or more cups of coffee per day.

The Scope

Loftfield said that a person’s caffeine metabolism does not seem to affect a person’s longevity. The result of the study contradicts earlier research that suggested too much coffee consumption can increase your risk of acquiring high blood pressure and heart attack compared to those non-coffee drinkers.

Loftfield also argued that the previous research only correlated the coffee consumption after a disease occurrence and not the participants’ overall mortality risk. The data they obtained from the Biobank study allowed them to examine the participants’ genetic data, helping them formulate a robust analysis of the association of coffee consumption to mortality rate.

According to Loftfield, the study provides further evidence that drinking coffee can help boost a person’s lifespan. Therefore, it can be incorporated into your healthy diet

However, Loftfield said that the study they conducted was observational, and they only looked at the patterns given from an existing dataset. Therefore, it is impossible to conclude right now whether drinking coffee is directly responsible for keeping death at bay.  

To better understand coffee’s association to various health outcomes as well as its potential biological mechanisms that affect our mortality rate, future researchers may need to conduct additional studies, Loftfield said. Nonetheless, Loftfield’s study joins past studies conducted that revealed the health benefits of coffee consumption.

The Debate

Prior to the recent publication of the study, some past studies claimed that drinking coffee can be detrimental to health. The studies claimed that coffee contains carcinogen properties that increase your risk of acquiring cancer. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) debunked such claims and concluded that they did not find any substantial evidence to call coffee a carcinogen. However, the WHO found another significant finding that may be linked to cancer. According to the report, drinking “very hot” beverages can cause cancer.

The finding was based on a related study in South America, wherein most people consume a traditional drink called Cimarron or mate and the tea is served in extremely high temperatures- around 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The International Agency for Research on Cancer Director, Christopher Wild, said that drinking very hot beverages can cause esophageal cancer, not the drink itself. The IARC Director recommends coffee lovers to wait for a few minutes until the temperature had slightly subsided before consuming their coffee.

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