Two studies claim that drinking more coffee prolongs life

A study surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study to date on coffee and mortality, and found that drinking more coffee significantly reduces the risk of death. a person.

The second study was more recent because it involved non-white populations. After identifying more than 185,000 African-Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Amerindians, Latinos and whites, the researchers found that coffee prolongs life in various populations.

People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared to people who did not drink coffee, according to the study. These findings are consistent with previous studies that have studied a majority of white populations, said Veronica Wendy Setiawan, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, who led the non-white population study. .

“Given these diverse populations, all of these people have different lifestyles. They have very different eating habits and different risks, and we always find similar patterns, “said Setiawan.

The new study shows that there is a stronger biological possibility for the relationship between coffee and longevity and found that mortality was inversely related to coffee consumption for heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, accidents cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes and kidney disease.

The study of European countries revealed an inverse association between coffee and liver disease, suicide in men, cancer in women, digestive diseases and circulatory diseases. Those who drank at least three cups a day had a lower risk of death than those who did not drink coffee.

Both studies were published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“We have studied several countries across Europe, where the way people get their coffee and prepare their coffee is quite different,” said Marc Gunter, a Reader in Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention at the School of Medicine. public health of Imperial College School in the United Kingdom, co-author of the European study.

“The fact that we have seen the same relationships in different countries indicates that there is something in the coffee rather than the way coffee is made or how it is eaten,” he said.

Biological benefits and warnings

Coffee is a complex mixture of compounds, some of which have been shown to have biological effects in laboratories, Gunter said.

Studies have shown that some compounds have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

In the European study, people who drank coffee tended to have lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid balances and better glucose control compared to those who did not drink. It’s still unclear what particular compounds offer health benefits, but Gunter said he would like to study this more deeply.

Both studies separated smokers from nonsmokers, as smoking is known to decrease longevity and is related to various deaths. However, they found that coffee also had adverse effects on mortality for smokers.

“Smoking does not seem to cancel the effects of coffee,” Gunter said. “It does not matter if you smoke or not. Coffee always had a potential beneficial effect on mortality.

However, Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said people should be wary of this discovery.

“Even if it was true in a way, it does not make sense to me because, when you smoke, you dramatically increase your mortality rate. Then, if you reduce it by 10% by drinking coffee, let me doubt it, “said Ascherio, who was not part of the study.

“I think that’s a dangerous statement, because it indicates that a smoker can counteract the effects of smoking by drinking coffee, which is quite nonsensical.”

Further studies have been conducted on coffee and mortality, he says, and it has been reasonably documented that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.

However, with all the observations from previous studies, it’s hard to rule out the possibility that coffee drinkers are simply healthier at the base, Gunter said.

People who avoid coffee, especially in places like the United States and Europe, where drinking this drink is very common, can do it because they have health problems. Their higher mortality rate may result from poorer health initially.

“To conclude, if you’re a coffee drinker, keep drinking your coffee and be happy,” Ascherio said. And if you do not drink? “I think you can continue drinking your tea or water without any problem.” “Moderate coffee consumption can be integrated into a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle,” Setiawan said. “This study and previous studies indicate that, for a majority of people, there is no harm in drinking coffee in the long run.”

Caution :

Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the body, increasing the heart rate. That said, for many years, studies have followed one another to demonstrate both the positive effects of caffeine on the heart and the negative effects. Today, it appears that the positive or harmful effects of coffee vary from one individual to another.

In the first place, everything depends on consumption. Coffee being a stimulant, do not abuse it. In addition, the health status of coffee drinkers must be taken into account to determine the effect: coffee can increase the risk of cardiovascular events if it is overconsumed, but especially if the person who consumes coffee is smoker, overweight, suffers from cholesterol or hypertension, all risk factors.

Coffee, by increasing the heart rate, can be a problem if you have arrhythmia or other heart problems. We are not equal when it comes to coffee, it all depends on our DNA and our state of health.

“Nutritional advice is tricky to give, because many things – like coffee – can be bad for some health states and individuals, but good for others consumed in moderation,” says El-Sohemy. However, he is particularly cautious about energy drinks: “The high levels of caffeine in these products, which also tend to be very high in sugar, have no health benefits.”

According to Ahmed El-Sohemy, “the manufacturers of these energy drinks are pushing the limits in terms of caffeine concentration. Some have up to 500 milligrams per can. In comparison, a typical cola can contains 34 mg and a large cup of coffee 80 to 100 mg . (source)

For women who want to get pregnant: Some studies have shown that caffeine can have a negative influence on a woman’s ovulation. Even though scientists still have trouble understanding it. To be careful, avoid drinking more than a cup of coffee or more than a glass of coke a day.

Coffee is to be avoided during pregnancy but you can drink it in moderation (a small cup a day) … because excessive consumption of caffeine can have harmful effects on the fetus.

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