BY STEVE BORN
If reading this headline feels a bit like déjà vu, we understand. In fact, we’ve reported on research supporting coffee’s health benefits with such frequency that we’d forgive you for accusing us of rehashing the same findings repeatedly. But of course, that’s not the case; these studies just keep coming, and only rarely do mainstream news sources pick them up.
Luckily, the latest study published earlier this summer in the prestigious JAMA Internal Medicine peer-reviewed journal made the big time, and major news sources finally picked up on the story we’ve been sharing for years: Coffee has tremendous health benefits and may in fact increase your lifespan.
This particular study involved nearly a half million participants (men and women) in the United Kingdom’s massive BioBank population-based study. The results showed a strong association between coffee intake and longevity.
Over a five-year period, the study participants completed questionnaires providing data on their diet and coffee consumption. Biological samples were analyzed to determine genetic variations that indicated how fast or slow caffeine was metabolized. Subjects were followed for an average of ten years.
The research concluded that, compared to non-coffee drinkers, regular coffee consumption decreased premature mortality by 6%-14%. Furthermore, it showed that more coffee was associated with lower mortality, all the way up to 8 cups of coffee per day.
Of additional interest is the fact that individuals’ caffeine metabolism—a genetic trait—did not impact the health benefits of coffee in any way. Additionally, the study showed benefits for regular and decaffeinated coffee alike, indicating that compounds other than caffeine may be responsible for these benefits.
Lead study author, Dr. Erikka Loftfield of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, suggested that the mechanisms for coffee’s positive influence on health and longevity include improvements in inflammation, liver enzyme levels, insulin sensitivity, and cellular function.
Dr. Loftfield concludes, “These results provide further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and may provide reassurance to those who drink coffee and enjoy it.”
Though we’ve accurately reported on these findings for years, this most recent study offers yet more evidence to support our position. If you’re a coffee drinker (and you’re choosing coffee from good sources), you can rest assured that your morning ritual is indeed supporting your health and wellness.