An NIH study published today in the New England Journal of medicine suggests that kicking the coffee habit could contribute to kicking the bucket.
And that’s exactly what researchers will be doing because they are not sure why or whether coffee really makes people live longer or exactly what in coffee might offer protection.
“The mechanism by which coffee protects against risk of death—if indeed the finding reflects a causal relationship—is not clear, because coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds that might potentially affect health,” said Neal Freedman, Ph.D., NCI. “The most studied compound is caffeine, although our findings were similar in those who reported the majority of their coffee intake to be caffeinated or decaffeinated.”
Coffee drinkers—400,000 of them, men and women ages 50 to 71—submitted information about their coffee habits beginning in 1995 through 2008.
Taking into account whether smoking and alcohol consumption, coffee drinkers were shown to be less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections. You notice that cancer is not in that list.
Seems like the more coffee the better because those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had approximately a 10 percent lower risk of death. Again, cancer is the outlier because heavier coffee drinking caused a marginally statistically significant increased risk of cancer death in men, but not women.
Freedman does not see this as a problem saying the observation provides “some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health.”
Participants did not provide information on how their coffee was (espresso, boiled, filtered, etc.), inviting the question whether preparation methods may affect the levels of any protective components in coffee.