JUL 11, 2017 3:38 PM PDT

A Daily Coffee Habit May Be Extending Your Life

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

The habit that’s shared by at least 50 percent of Americans has been linked to increased longevity in a recent study. That’s right, drinking coffee could potentially extend your lifespan!

Image credit: Pixabay.com

The study was conducted by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The researchers analyzed data from over 185,000 participants, and found that daily consumption of coffee seem to be linked to some positive health benefits. These include lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Furthermore, people who drank coffee seemed to reduce their risk of dying early. Specifically, people who drank one cup of coffee a day had a 12 percent reduction, whereas people who drank two to three cups a day had an 18 percent reduction.

"Until now, few data have been available on the association between coffee consumption and mortality in nonwhites in the United States and elsewhere," the authors wrote. "Such investigations are important because lifestyle patterns and disease risks can vary substantially across racial and ethnic backgrounds, and findings in one group may not necessarily apply to others."

"This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles," said Veronica Setiawan, lead author of the study. "Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian."

Furthermore, researchers noted that the link was not affected by caffeine. That is, both regular coffee or decaffeinated coffee seemed to lower mortality.

"We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," said Veronica Setiawan, lead author of the study. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start."

The current study’s results seem to corroborate other recent findings that also found benefits for daily coffee habits. Daily Italian-style coffee was linked to a 53 percent decrease in prostate cancer risks. Another study found that coffee lowers risk of liver cancer, specifically hepatocellular carcinoma, in both sexes.

Taken at face value, the results of this study seem to give men ample permission to indulge in another cup of coffee. But just remember that these results are merely associations; none of the studies provide evidence for causation. Still, Setiawan feels justified in her two cups of coffee a day, saying, “"Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention. Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this 'elixir effect,' it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle."

Additional sources: CNN, MedicalXpress
 

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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