Drinking coffee could lower risk of death, study finds

Coffee beans in a mug

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of the study, and everything that's gone before, we can chalk this up as more evidence that coffee does indeed seem to improve our health in certain ways - even if we don't exactly know how.

In other words while coffee drinking has some benefits especially in dealing with non-communicable diseases, your genes decide how well you metabolise caffeine. Coffee-drinkers fared better than people who did not drink coffee. Indeed, only a fraction of the people in the study reported drinking 8 or more cups of coffee a day, she added - about 10,000 of the 500,000 participants.

Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up.

Additionally, the study found that cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease accounted for approximately 8294 (58%), 2833 (20%), and 553 (4%) deaths in the cohort, respectively. Even those who drank at least eight cups daily appeared to have a longevity boost.

Context like the general recommendation from experts to stick to 400 mg of caffeine per day (about four cups of coffee) - too much of the stuff tends to lead to problems like insomnia or heartburn. They found that participants without a college degree more commonly drank instant coffee compared to college graduates. On the other hand, the U.K. Biobank volunteers are not representative of the British public and might, in fact, be healthier than average because volunteers for medical studies often are.

However, some health officials say more research should be done before you change your coffee routine.

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During the next decade, 14,225 participants died, mostly of cancer or heart disease.

As all this data shows, coffee is likely beneficial for most of us, and at the very least not harmful. To reap the benefit, it doesn't matter if your coffee is decaf or instant or caffeinated, the researchers said.

The study, officially entitled, "Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism", was published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. But this study showed no extra risk for those with the genetic variant. All of these may contribute to the health benefits of the daily brew.

It is the No. 1 source in the American diet of antioxidants - chemical compounds that fight the damage to DNA caused by day-to-day living.

This study also looked at another question scientists have been asking: how genetics affects coffee consumption.

As with all studies like this in which researchers observe a group of people over time, this study can't prove that coffee is the cause of the reduced risk of death. Some studies have suggested that unfiltered coffee, made in percolaters or French presses, might raise unhealthy cholesterol levels.

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