Millions of people worldwide cannot start their day without enjoying a cup of morning coffee first. Are you one of them? Do you need a mid-morning pick me up brew, a coffee before lunch, or during or after lunch? Maybe you prefer a smooth cup of decaffeinated coffee? Regardless of your coffee habits, you are not alone in a routine which so many people find both enjoyable and necessary to get through the day.
Although coffee is extremely popular choice of many, most people have always been confused about whether or not coffee positively or negatively affects their health. For instance, if consumed in excess, its high caffeine content which acts as stimulant could make it potentially addictive. Also, pregnant women shouldn’t drink it in large amounts as their babies are not able to fully metabolize the caffeine. But, what are the benefits of drinking coffee on a regular basis, in general?
Can Coffee Increase Longevity?
Coffee has long been associated with longer life and better health. But, a recent study done in the UK may have broken up some serious ground, assessing a factor which hasn’t been previously taken into consideration regarding coffee and its correlation with longevity: metabolism.
Organized by the UK Biobank, the study measured the mortality rate of a massive study group of more than 500,000 subjects over a 10 year period. The team of researchers observed the number of cups of coffee the participants consumed daily, using non-coffee drinkers as a reference group. Additionally, they investigated potential effect modification by caffeine metabolism,” meaning the impact of their bodies’ ability to metabolize and use caffeine more or less quickly.
The team of researchers used a hazard ration in order to illustrate how the effect they observed has on the participant’s health and longevity. The ration of 1 means that there was no observable effect of coffee drinking, while a ratio of 0.5 would indicate that coffee drinking subjects were half as likely to die as the non-drinkers. The ratios they assigned to the participants of 1-8 cups of coffee daily were ranged from 0.94 – 0.86. As concluded by the study, coffee drinkers of any amount saw faced a 6% – 14% lower chance of death.
Interestingly, the subjects who drank 8 plus cups of coffee daily reflect the most positive results. But, given that most sources recommend no more than 4, 8 cups of coffee would exceed by double. Then the factor of caffeine metabolism steps in. The participants with a higher caffeine “tolerance” (ie.they metabolize caffeine more quickly consumed more coffee daily, and had the lowest risk of death out of any group in the study. As a matter of fact, the results of this study showed that the caffeine content made no difference at all to the risk of death.
While we must be careful and make sure we don’t overindulge in coffee components like sugar and cream as well as be careful of our personal tolerance for caffeine, this particular study may help you stop worrying about your coffee intake. There is absolutely no guilt in that morning coffee or any other serving during the day.