A large study on coffee making news today is good news for coffee lovers savoring your morning cup. The study finds that drinking up to five cups of coffee a day links to living longer, and lower risk of dying from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, when compared to non-coffee drinkers.
The benefit held true for drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Published in Cardiology, this latest analysis adds to the evidence in recent years suggesting that moderate amounts of coffee can bring health benefits. Coffee contains several phytochemicals and nutrients that lab studies have linked to lower risk of inflammation and keeping insulin at healthy levels, both of which play a role in type 2 diabetes, as well as cancer risk.
This study did not find a link between coffee consumption and cancer deaths. But AICR and World Cancer Research Fund’s analysis of the research finds there is strong evidence that coffee drinkers have lower risk of developing both endometrial and liver cancers. Having type 2 diabetes also increases the risk of many cancers.
This study’s findings are based on data from approximately 200,000 people who are part of three large ongoing studies: the Nurses’ Health Study, its follow-up, and a Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Participants all filled out questionnaires on their eating and drinking habits when they began the study, then every four years afterwards.
After almost 30 years, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died from a range of causes.
Overall, those who drank moderate amounts of coffee had a slightly lower risk of dying during the follow-up period compared to those who were not coffee drinkers.
Because people who frequently drank coffee were more likely to smoke, the researchers repeated the analysis among only people who had never smoked and found the lower risk of mortality even more pronounced. Drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day linked to a 15 percent lower risk of dying during the three decades compared to those who drank no coffee. Drinking up to five cups of coffee daily linked to lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes and suicide.
Drinking more than five cups of coffee daily did not link to additional risk reduction.
As the authors point out, this study shows only a link between coffee and mortality, not a cause-and-effect. But it does add to the evidence that for those who enjoy and can drink coffee, the beverage can be part of a healthy diet.
You can see the compounds in coffee as well as see how it links to cancer risk in our Foods that Fight Cancer: Coffee.