Health experts often advise not to drink too much coffee and some studies seem to indicate that it’s bad for your health.  However, a new study by the US-Based National Institutes for Health shows that coffee – both caffeinated and decaffeinated – could be beneficial for health and longevity.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes for health, say that older adults who drink coffee have a lower risk of of death.  The researchers also say that coffee drinkers have less of a risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke or infections.  However, the researchers say that “the  association was not seen for cancer”.

The study was recently published in New England Journal of Medicine.  As part of the study, Neal  Freedman, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, and his team analysed the association between coffee drinking and the risk of death in 400,000 U.S. men and women aged 50 to 71.  Information about coffee consumption was recorded as part of the questionnaire.

Research showed that the more coffee that was consumed, the lower the risk of death and those that consumed at least three cups of coffee a day had a 10% lower risk of death.

Commenting in a press release, Neal  Freedman, Ph.D, said:

“Coffee  is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association  between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear. We found coffee  consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death  from a number of different causes.”

“Although we cannot infer  a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we  believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not  adversely affect health.”

However, the researchers are careful to point out though that these statistics were recorded at “one single time point” and might not be reflective of long time consumption.

Neal  Freedman, Ph.D, said:

“The  mechanism by which coffee protects against risk of death — if indeed the  finding reflects a causal relationship — is not clear, because coffee contains  more than 1,000 compounds that might potentially affect health.”

“The most studied compound is caffeine, although our findings were  similar in those who reported the majority of their coffee intake to be decaffeinated  or decaffeinated.”

This isn’t the first study to demonstrate that coffee could be beneficial to your health.  A previous study has shown that it could play a role in preventing Type 2 diabetes.  Coffee is also known to contain antioxidants which are believed by some to lower the risk of developing some illnesses and caffeine is not without its benefits, it can make your mind sharper and help you perform better but too much has been associated with a number of health maladies including irregular heartbeat.


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