Latest Study in the Coffee Wars Will Please Java Drinkers

Research suggests a link to longevity, even for those who drink a lot of the stuff
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2018 3:40 PM CDT
10-Year Study Is Good News for Coffee Lovers
A 10-year study released on Monday suggests that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death than abstainers.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

In the never-ending debate of whether coffee is good or bad for you, the latest study lands squarely in the pro-coffee camp. The new research suggests it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily, reports the AP. In a study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than abstainers. The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground, and decaffeinated. It's the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches that affect how their bodies use caffeine. Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10% to 15% less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal.

The results don't prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth, nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, says Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research. But she says the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers. "It's hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us. Or at least not be bad," Lichtenstein said. The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It's not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity. But lead author Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the US National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage.

(More coffee stories.)

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