People who drank coffee, no matter how much or what kind they drank, were less likely to die over that 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers, they reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Internal Medicine.
That's because a massive new British study, examining the coffee habits and longevity of almost 500,000 adults, says there's an unmistakable across-the-board increase in longevity among people who drink lots of coffee.
"For example, prior studies have suggested that variants in CYP1A2, (a gene) encoding the enzyme responsible for more than 95 percent of caffeine metabolism, may alter associations of coffee drinking with cardiovascular-related outcomes, with slower caffeine metabolizers having higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) or having a myocardial infarction (heart attack) relative to their non-drinking counterparts, whereas faster caffeine metabolizers who drink coffee are at no or lower risk of these outcomes". But she said the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers.
Most were coffee drinkers, nearly one-third or 154,000 people drank two to three cups daily and 10,000 drank at least eight cups daily.
The researchers asked them how many cups of coffee they drank per day, including the type: decaffeinated, ground or instant. Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10-15 percent less likely to die than coffee abstainers.
Alice Lichenstein, a Tufts University nutrition researcher not linked to the study agrees, saying coffee has had negative health connotations which partially come from early literature suggesting coffee is not healthy for people. Coffee habits, complete smoking data and mortality rates for the study participants were taken over that 10 year period.
But for some coffee lovers, this may be the only evidence needed to enjoy more coffee. "Or at least not be bad", Lichtenstein said.
The strongest associations were observed for ground coffee compared to instant and decaf, the authors wrote, summarizing that brewed coffee offers higher concentrations of health-protective compounds and nutrients, which promote "reduced inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity", increase blood flow and proper liver functioning.
"I try to have just one cup daily", Taylor said.
But, she added, for non-coffee drinkers, the modest benefits aren't a reason to start.
The study followed more than half a million people in the United Kingdom between the ages of 38 and 73.
The team at the National Cancer Institute used data from people taking part in a large genetic study in Britain called the U.K. Biobank.
"During the next decade, 14,225 participants died, mostly of cancer or heart disease", the AP reported.
Drinking coffee could cut the risk of death even in those who struggle to metabolize caffeine, scientists believe.
[In 2014], a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies looking at long-term consumption of coffee and the risk of cardiovascular disease was published.
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