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Three Cups of Coffee a Day Keeps Death Away, Latest Study Shows

Wed, Nov 18, 2015

Clinical News Room


In the 1500s, health experts warned that coffee could lead to illegal sex. In the 19th century, a hot cup could make you blind, doctors contended. In 2001, java increased your risk of urinary tract cancer.

But this morning, at least, your cup of joe can be guilt-free.

Moderate coffee drinking reduces mortality rates from a wide variety of diseases, according to the latest study by Harvard researchers.

Roughly 208,000 people were tracked from three ongoing studies, including two of the Nurses’ Health Studies.

Coffee drinking was assessed every four years for a 30-year period, says the study, published Monday in the journal Circulation. Over that time, more than 30,000 of the patients died.

But those who drank between three and five cups of coffee per day had reduced death risks from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, and even suicide.

Cancer was not related to coffee drinking, they found. The study also weighed for other health risks, including smoking, BMI, and alcohol consumption, among other factors.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said Ming Ding, the first author and a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

Coffee has been subject to more back-and-forth than almost any other food or drink over the centuries – including claims of illegal sex, blindness, and stunted growth. Over the last decade, it has been associated or linked to various cancers, diseases and maladies. But the latest run of studies has indicated that the beverage – in moderation and without much added cream or sugar – promotes health.

“Currently, strong evidence shows that consumption of coffee within the moderate range (three to five cups per day or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture found in a scientific report released in February.

“In fact, consistent evidence indicates that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults. Moreover, moderate evidence shows a protective association between caffeine intake and risk of Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern, along with other healthful behaviors,” they added.

Drugs Discovery & Development; 11-18-2015

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