Drinking coffee daily may save you from early death, study shows

Drinking coffee daily may save you from early death, study shows

Drinking a cup of coffee every day may just lower the risk of early death. This is based on a publication by the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The groundbreaking study, however, had the scientists caution that the finding may not be down to the brew itself.

According to a report by the UK-based publication, the Guardian, the study was conducted on 171,000 participants of the UK BioBank which collected genetic, lifestyle and health information from more than 500,000 people.

The study has taken 16 years of including details of participants’ coffee-drinking behavior.

The team used data from death certificates to track the participants for a median period of seven years from 2009, during which 3,177 people died.

After taking into account factors including age, sex, ethnicity, educational level, smoking status, amount of physical activity, body mass index and diet, the team found that, compared with those who did not drink the brew, people who consumed unsweetened coffee had the lowest risk of death.

The greatest reduction, a 29 percent lower risk of death, was seen for those drinking between 2.5 and 4.5 cups a day.

According to the study, coffee sweetened with sugar proved effective to lengthen lifespan. Data shows those who consumed between 1.5 and 3.5 cups a day lived longer.

However, the study questioned participants about coffee drinking and other habits only once and relied on self-reporting. Most of those who used sugar added only a spoonful to their drink – meaning it is unclear if the results would hold for specialty coffees with high sugar content.

According to the Guardian, about 98m cups of coffee are drunk every day in the UK, based on a study by the British Coffee Association.

Previous studies have suggested the beverage may be beneficial to health, with coffee drinking associated with a lower risk of conditions ranging from chronic liver disease to certain cancers and even dementia.

Now researchers in China have also found people who consumed a moderate amount of coffee every day, whether sweetened with sugar or not, had a lower risk of death over a seven-year period than those who did not.

However, Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow spoke otherwise about the finding.

“The observational nature of this new study means these conclusions are far from definitive,” he said.

“This is because coffee drinkers are in general more affluent and have healthier lives than non-drinkers and I remain unconvinced whether these factors can be overcome in observational studies.” Prof Sattar added that genetic evidence did not link coffee to any important health benefits.

“I would suggest people stick to coffee or tea, preferably without sugar, which most people can adapt to, and try to do all the other things we know to keep you healthy – move more, eat and sleep better.”

The Prof was not involved in the study.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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