Two Studies Find Drinking More Coffee May Extend Lifespan

Java drinkers, rejoice! Much evidence has come to light revealing the health benefits associated with regular consumption of coffee. Drinking more coffee could give you a longer life, claim two new studies published Monday.

Multiple studies have assessed the impact of regular Java consumption on public health, with conflicting results. Now the current studies have once again triggered the centuries-old debate on the effects of this brewed drink.

Researchers in the first study, led by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London, learned that drinking three cups of coffee a day may help people live longer.

The second study, by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, found an association between regular intake of 1-3 cups of this bitter beverage and longevity.

The first study investigators combed through medical records of more than 520,000 people over the age of 35 from in 10 European countries. They inquired the study subjects about their intake of hot brewed beverage in the beginning of the study and then tracked them for an average of 16 years to look for death cases among them. They found, drinking more coffee significantly lowered a person’s risk of death, specifically for cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the gut.

“We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases,” said lead author Marc Gunter of the IARC, formerly at Imperial’s School of Public Health.

“Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs.”

The second study focused on non-white populations, surveying more than 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites.

It found that coffee- caffeinated or decaffeinated- increased longevity across participants of different ethnic backgrounds in the country. Java drinkers were at a reduced risk of mortality due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease, the researchers found.

The study subjects who drank one cup a day were 12 percent less prone to die compared to those who didn’t drink at all, while those who consumed two or three cups per day saw a further drop of 18 percent in the risk of death.

“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” said lead author Veronica Setiawan, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

“If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

Both studies were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.