You can now justify every cup of coffee you drink because of its official health benefits. On average, coffee drinkers live longer than those who don’t.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “how?” Well, new data has the answer for us! Coffee has several effects which directly improve our chances of living longer, including reducing the risk of certain dangerous conditions. Find out what coffee can do for you—and how much of it you should be drinking—so you can be a healthy, long-lived coffee drinker!
The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University teamed up to analyze data on coffee-drinkers as well as the long-term study of half a million people in the United Kingdom, ranging in age from 38 to 74 by UK Biobank tp determine health benefits.
Keep in mind that the research shows a noted correlation, rather than a direct causal connection. But due to the broad spectrum of people and other evidence provided by the study, we can still say that coffee is a good thing for the following reasons.
- Cut the Pain: Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%. From the Journal of Pain, March 2007 (link)
- Increase your fiber intake: A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams. From the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (link).
- Protection against cirrhosis of the liver: This is a good on, of course, you could just cut down on the alcohol intake. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. link. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers. This study was published in the Hepatology Journal.
- Lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Those who consumed six or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). A recent review of research conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased risk by 6% per cup.
Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease: There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. From the European Journal of Neurology (link). A recent study also isolated the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease.
- Reduces suicide risk and Depression: A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink four or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression. Study link.
- Protection against Parkinson’s: People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. From the Archives of Neurology (link). Research out of Sweden revealed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors come into play. link. Yet another study (published here) found that caffeine combined with EHT (a compound found in coffee beans) provided protective benefits to rats that were genetically predisposed to developing Parkinson’s.
- Coffee drinkers have lowered risk of heart disease: Korean researchers found that study participants who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to show the beginning signs of heart disease. The study. Other dietary factors should also be noted as Koreans typically have a different diet than do Westerners. A more recent study conducted in Brazil found that those that consume at least three cups of coffee a day tend to develop less calcification in their coronary arteries.
- Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that coffee drinkers have DNA with stronger integrity since the white blood cells of coffee drinkers had far fewer instances of spontaneous DNA strand breakage. Study abstract.
- Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: Recent research showed that at least four cups of coffee a day may help protect against the development and reoccurrence of MS. It is believed that the coffee prevents the neural inflammation that possibly leads to the disease developing. The study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
- Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk: Even moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the odds of developing colorectal cancer by 26%. This protective benefit increases with more consumption. The study is described in detail here.
So it’s a safe bet to stick with coffee.