Ah, coffee. Not only is it complex, revitalising and delicious, but new research suggests that it could actually help you live longer. Scientists in the USA and Europe carried out a study, the results of which show that drinking at least three cups of coffee on a daily basis reduced the risk by death by up to a fifth.
Researchers studied the coffee-drinking habits of over 500,000 people from ten countries in Europe, and found that men who drink coffee regularly were 18 per cent less likely to die from any cause than men who drank no coffee at all. The risk-lowering factor was lower for women at just 8 per cent, but coffee was still found to have a positive effect. American researchers carried out a similar but separate study involving over 185,000 people, and found the same results. Caffeine didn’t appear to have an effect on the results, with both regular and decaffeinated coffee delivering the same benefits, suggesting that the active factor may be antioxidants.
The studies were both published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, and the results appeared to be similar regardless of ethnicity. The researchers also took other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, into account. Variable coffee-drinking habits across different countries appeared to have no effect on the results.
Commenting on the results, the University of Southern California’s Dr. Veronica Setiawan, who was lead author on the study, said that they had seen an association between drinking coffee and a prolongation of life. Although the study did not examine root causes of the results or establish which antioxidant or phenolic compound may be the active factor, it was clear, she said, that ‘coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle’.
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