Can I get a hallelujah?
If you drink coffee, this will be music to your ears: two new studies say that drinking coffee actually might lead to a longer life. Ahem. Coffee makes you live longer.
We’ll wait while you go brew a cup.
The first study took place in 10 countries across Europe, and was the largest to date on coffee and mortality. The second study was a bit more innovative: it focused on African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, and Latinx people in addition to whites, and findings showed that coffee increased longevity, no matter your heritage or what color your skin is.
“People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee,” declares the second study. That’s a significantly lower risk of dying! Just from drinking coffee!
If you combine the results of both studies, people who drink coffee are less likely to die of heart disease, cancer (in women), respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, suicide (in men), digestive diseases and circulatory diseases.
Plus, the studies separated non-smokers from smokers, but in both, it didn’t even matter if you smoked, the effects of coffee were pervasive. In other words, coffee cancels out cigarettes?!
Before you get too excited (no, coffee doesn’t cancel out cigarettes), the studies don’t rule out the fact that people who drink coffee are just healthier to begin with. People who skip coffee on purpose—especially in places like the U.S. and Europe, where coffee drinking is commonplace—might be doing it because they have a health issue that’s exacerbated by coffee.
Exactly why is coffee linked to longevity? We’re not quite sure. Some studies show that certain compounds in coffee have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce risk for illnesses like Parkinson’s disease. On the European side, coffee drinkers tended to have lower levels of inflammation (say what?!), healthier lipid profiles, and better blood sugar control than the coffee avoiders. Marc Gunter, who co-authored the European study and is studying cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the UK, says he’s interested in further exploring the benefits of coffee.
Photo via the instagram of @coffeetablemags from Hamburg, Germany
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