Caffeine intake in the form of coffee and tea has been associated with increased longevity in the general population. Therefore, researchers in Portugal wanted to determine if the beverages might prolong the life of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), specifically. They found the more caffeine that patients consumed, the lower their risk of death was in comparison to those who consumed the least.
“Our study showed a dose-dependent protective effect of caffeine consumption on mortality among patients with CKD. This association was independent of potential confounders including age, gender, race, annual family income, education level, estimated GFR, albumin/creatinine ratio, hypertension, smoking status, dyslipidemia, body mass index, previous cardiovascular events and diet: consumption of alcohol, carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and fibers,” said lead author Dr. Miguel Bigotte Vieira of the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte in Portugal.
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One of the top causes of death in the U.S., CKD afflicts more than 30 million adults. The condition involves a progressive deterioration in the ability of the kidneys to filter wastes from the blood. Eventually, CKD leads to kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease. In these cases, dialysis and transplants are the only treatment options.
In the study, Vieira and his colleagues examined data from the 1999–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and focused on 2,328 patients with CKD. They divided the individuals into four groups based on their daily caffeine consumption:
- First quartile, who consumed under 29.5 milligrams (mg)
- Second quartile, who consumed 30.5 to 101 mg
- Third quartile, who consumed 101.5 to 206 mg
- Fourth quartile, who consumed at least 206.5 mg
Highest Caffeine Consumption Linked to 24-Percent Lower Death Risk
After looking at the incidence of mortality, they found caffeine consumption was inversely related to death risk. Compared to individuals in the first quartile, those in second, third and fourth quartiles had a 12-percent, 22-percent and 24-percent reduced likelihood of death from all causes.
“These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial,” concluded Vieira.
He stressed the observational study doesn’t prove a cause-effect relationship between caffeine and reduced death risk of CKD patients. Instead, it indicates the possibility of a protective effect.
Vieira presented the findings at Kidney Week 2017, which is the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology.
Caffeine Content in Coffee and Tea
Although research hasn’t proven that coffee and tea consumption lengthens life, a range of studies show a link to a reduced death risk, as well as other health benefits. So how many cups of the beverages is it advisable for a person to drink per day?
The Mayo Clinic provides the caffeine content in various types of coffees and teas. A cup of brewed coffee contains 95 mg to 165 mg, while a cup of black tea contains 25 mg to 48 mg of caffeine. Because of the differences in caffeine content in varieties of coffee and tea, it’s hard to estimate an optimal daily amount. However, a rough guess would involve drinking two cups of coffee or four cups of tea per day to receive the possible longevity benefit of the group of CKD patients who consumed the most caffeine in the recent study.
Just be sure not to ingest more than the maximum recommended limit of caffeine per day, which experts say is 400 mg. Furthermore, if coffee makes your heart feel jumpy, as it does in some people, switch to tea.
It’s important to note that research showing benefits of caffeine consumption has been conducted on coffee and tea rather than on caffeine pills. Taking caffeine through a pill has been associated with rapid heart rate and other harmful effects. Moreover, overdosing on caffeine pills can lead to death. It’s best to avoid them completely.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.