Love Your Morning Joe? Enjoy a Second Cup — It May Help You Live Longer
In a new study at the University of Southern California (USC), researchers found drinking coffee was linked to lower death rates from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and respiratory disease, regardless of race or ethnicity. People who drank one cup of coffee per day had a 12 percent reduced likelihood of death compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. Those who drank two to three cups per day had an 18 percent reduced risk.
The decreased mortality was seen regardless of whether people drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, which indicates the longevity benefit isn’t connected to caffeine, according to Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” Setiawan said. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”
Data used in the research came from the Multiethnic Cohort Study, which was conducted by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and the Keck School of Medicine. The Multiethnic Cohort Study had 215,000 participants and is believed to be the most ethnically diverse investigation of lifestyle risk factors that have a bearing on cancer.
Participants completed questionnaires on their lifestyle and diet, as well as on personal and family medical history. They also reported their coffee drinking frequency at the study’s onset and updated it every five years. The study spanned a 16-year period. Those who drank the most coffee had the lowest death risk. The beverage appeared to offer the greatest protective against death from digestive disorders – especially in men, and circulatory disease – especially in women.
Coffee Has Longevity Benefits for All
“Until now, few data have been available on the association between coffee consumption and mortality in nonwhites in the United States and elsewhere,” the study stated. “Such investigations are important because lifestyle patterns and disease risks can vary substantially across racial and ethnic backgrounds, and findings in one group may not necessarily apply to others.”
“This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles,” Setiawan said. “Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian.”
Because the benefit was noted in four ethnicities, Setiawan concluded the findings would apply to other ethnic groups.
Earlier research by USC and others finds coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of stroke, cancer, liver disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and other chronic illnesses. More specifically, scientists from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a connection between coffee and a lower colorectal cancer risk.
“Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” Setiawan said. “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.”
What Is WHO’s Stance on Coffee?
It’s best to avoid drinking coffee and other beverages when piping hot, as the World Health Association (WHO) panel found this causes esophageal cancer. Moreover, after 25 years of implicating coffee with bladder cancer, the WHO last year determined that coffee decreases the risk of developing liver cancer and uterine cancer.
“Some people worry drinking coffee can be bad for you because it might increase the risk of heart disease, stunt growth or lead to stomach ulcers and heartburn,” Setiawan said. “But research on coffee have mostly shown no harm to people’s health.”
A Word of Caution
It’s important to note that while research links coffee to health benefits, it also ties it to some health risks. The Mayo Clinic reports that drinking two or more cups per day can raise the likelihood of heart disease in people with a fairly common genetic mutation that causes caffeine to breakdown in the body slowly. In addition, coffee can trigger insomnia and heart arrhythmia in certain people.
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.