Friday, September 8, 2017

High Coffee Consumption May Lower Your Risk of Death

Coffee, the fuel that keeps us going as we make our way to work in the morning. It is the lifeline that students cling to as they make their way through college and exams. It's a massive industry that seems to keep growing as more and more coffee is consumed throughout the world. I drink it everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. A dark roast coffee with a little bit of milk added to it? That's my power-up that gives me a swift kick in the pants and gets me going every morning. Coffee is good for it's caffeine to keep us going, but is there any other benefit to it?

According to a recent study, it could possibly lower your risk of dying.

Mind you, this isn't saying that coffee makes you immortal, and that if you drink it then you last forever. However, a study recently presented to the European Society of Cardiology proposed that drinking a couple cups of coffee a day can lower your overall risk of mortality. "Previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality but this has not been investigated in a Mediterranean country," said Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. In order to explore the effects of coffee, the study was conducted through the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project, a long-term study in which about 22 500 Spanish university graduates participate, which started in 1999. The study focused on 19,896 participants who were asked to complete a questionnaire that asked about their consumption of coffee and lifestyle habits. After a period of 10 years, the study followed up with each of the participants and compared the results to the National Death Index. Cox Regression Models were also used to determine a confidence interval with the data.

After 10 years, 337 participants died. Through this data, the experiment revealed that participants who had about 4 cups of coffee every day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause death (meaning all causes of death were analyzed in the 10 year period) compared to those who didn't drink coffee. In addition, for every two additional cups of coffee that were consumed, a 22% lower risk of death was also evident. To confirm that these results were not just coincidental, the team then focused on age, sex, and race as factors that could affect the outcome. By looking at the data, they determined that a lower risk of mortality was greatest for those aged 45 or older.

So this data looks promising, right? I mean, coffee could help us live longer! However, a couple questions arise after the completion of this study. In terms of chemistry, does coffee or caffeine have an effect on us? If the amount of years in this study increased, would the results change? And above all, this study focused on a Mediterranean country. Would the results be affected if they looked at the United States? The United Kingdom? Or even Russia or China?

If anything, this study might open a couple of doors to other research down the road. Sure, coffee is a wonderful drink, and this study might show some increased benefits beyond just having caffeine to wake us up. But for now, go ahead and grab an extra cup of joe, you may be helping yourself out in the long run. Just don't load it up with a ton of sugar, that just leads to all kinds of other problems.

Here is the article written for Forbes that was published:

Another article that focuses on a different coffee study, but with similar results: