A good coffee is not only tasty and a much-needed pick-me-up, but now high coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death. More specifically, a study has suggested those who drink at least four cups of coffee have a 64 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality, compared to those who don't consume the hot drink. The research suggests that coffee can be part of a healthy diet – in healthy people.
The observational study looked at almost 20,000 middle-aged Mediterranean individuals whose average age at the start of the study in 1999 was 37.7 years-old. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire on coffee consumption, lifestyle, sociodemographics, dietary habits and health conditions.
They were then followed up every 10 years, where information on mortality was obtained. During the 10 years, 337 participants (around 1 in 60) died.
According to a press release, participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never, or almost never, consumed coffee. And there was a 22 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality for each additional two cups of coffee per day.
After looking whether age, sex or a Mediterranean diet affected the link between coffee and death, the researchers discovered an extra two cups of coffee a day consumed over the age of 45 had a 30 per cent lower risk of death, but this wasn't the case in younger participants.
The study was conducted within the framework of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project, a long-term prospective cohort study in more than 22 500 Spanish university graduates which started in 1999.
The researchers believe the polyphenols (an antioxidant) in coffee could have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain says:
"In the SUN project, we found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants."
"Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people."
But before you go glugging coffee, Professor Avkiran, an Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation says: "This study suggests there may be an association between drinking coffee and living longer, but it doesn't prove a causal link or explain how coffee might be having this effect... Coffee drinkers should certainly not rest on their laurels. The best way to minimise your risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death is to concentrate on an overall healthy lifestyle - eat a balanced diet, stay active and don't smoke - rather than lining up the lattes."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.