BY STEVE BORN
We’re writing articles with headlines like these with fair amount of frequency that it might sound like we’re just rehashing the same research over and over. That’s honestly not the case; the studies about coffee’s benefits continue to pour in (no pun intended).
A 2018 study, published in the prestigious JAMA Internal Medicine peer-reviewed journal, involved nearly half a million men and women who were participants in the UK BioBank population-based study. The results showed an association between increased coffee intake and a decline in mortality during a 10-year follow up.
Over a five-year period, the study participants completed questionnaires that provided data regarding 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 10 years; 14,225 deaths occurred during that time period.
The conclusions of the research showed that coffee drinkers may experience more health benefits compared to non-coffee drinkers:
- Less than 1 cup of coffee daily = 6% reduction in premature mortality
- 1 cup of coffee daily = 8% reduction in premature mortality
- 2-5 cups of coffee daily = 12% reduction in premature mortality
- 8+ cups of coffee daily = 14% reduction in premature mortality
Key Take-Away Points
1. The decline in mortality risk was not affected by slow or fast caffeine metabolism.
2. The beneficial outcomes were valid for both regular and decaffeinated coffee, indicating that compounds other than caffeine may be responsible for its health-protecting properties.
Lead study author, Dr. Erikka Loftfield of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and colleagues suggest that the mechanisms for coffee’s positive influence on health and longevity include improvements in inflammation, liver enzyme levels, insulin sensitivity, and endothelial 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.”