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Studies show drinking coffee helps you live longer

Danielle Dent-Breen's picture
Coffee helps you live longer

If you’re a busy mom like me, chances are the first thing you do in the morning is grab that cup of coffee to get you going. I have long loved my morning coffee to help me wake up and start my day, but two large studies have just confirmed a much bigger reason to love your morning cup of Joe. It turns out that your morning fix may, in fact, help you to live longer.


Two Studies support earlier findings that coffee helps you live longer.

Two large studies were published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine that took a look at our favorite morning drink, and how it may be affecting our overall health. The results were quite surprising. Not only did they confirm what had been shown in earlier studies, that coffee may have some health benefits; instead, they showed a direct link between moderate coffee consumption and a decreased risk of dying from all causes.

The American Coffee Study

The first study was conducted in Hawaii and Los Angeles, California. This study was the first of its kind, to examine the proposed health benefits of coffee consumption across cultural, racial, and ethnic barriers. In this study, researchers sought to examine whether they could replicate earlier studies that showed health benefits and decreased mortality for European Caucasians among non-white participants. There were a total of 185,855 participants, aged 35-75 years, of African American, native Hawaiian, Japanese American, Latino, and Caucasian descent. These participants were studied over an average period of 16.2 years.

Researchers found that, with the exception of Native Hawaiians, participants who reported higher consumption of coffee had a statistically lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. No significant statistical difference was seen with Native Hawaiians, based on coffee consumption.

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The European Coffee Study

In the largest study of its kind, the researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Imperial College London studied data from over 500,000 people in 10 European countries, over a period of 16 years, and discovered that moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, but particularly circulatory and digestive tract diseases. For the sake of this study, “moderate” consumption is presumed to be approximately 3 cups of coffee per day. Interestingly, this study showed that there was no difference in benefits between methods of preparation, or between decaf and regular.

This study showed that men who consumed at least 3 cups of coffee daily were 18% less likely to die from any cause than non-coffee drinkers. Women who drank coffee experienced a smaller but significant 8% reduction in risk of death. Researchers showed that coffee drinkers presented with more favorable liver function, better immune response, and better glucose control.

What does this mean? How much coffee is too much?

Like all good things, it is possible to consume too much coffee. The researchers stress that the upper level of safe caffeine intake is around 400 mg. Intake that exceeds 400 mg puts you at a higher risk for panic attacks, heart problems, and insomnia. So, take heed of your overall caffeine intake.

Researchers tell us that, while the results of these studies are still unable to allow them to formally recommend coffee consumption for everyone as a way to prevent disease, we can relax knowing that there is no long-term harm to drinking coffee, and even drinking up to five cups of coffee daily appears to be perfectly safe.

Now there’s something we can drink to.



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Hi, Donnie! That's great news about your husband. It must be such a relief to have him back with you again! Parkinson's is such a difficult disease to manage. In my years in clinical practice as a rehab therapist, I saw so many people who had a difficult time regulating their medications to achieve the proper balance. Good for you for being proactive, and also for working in conjunction with his neurologist! Thanks for commenting, and I hope that your post offers help and encouragement to others who may be facing a similar situation.