Does Coffee Make You Live Longer?

I love to drink coffee. I have been drinking coffee since I was 16 years old. No matter what others say against coffee, I have my own reasons why I love to drink this bittersweet beverage. Believe it or not, coffee is one of the healthiest drink we have today.

Some people will argue that coffee is unhealthy. Others will say that it can cause dehydration. Some would say that it can cause heartburn. But all of these claims have been proven to be untrue. In fact, recent studies have found that coffee can reduce risks of some cancer and liver diseases. One of the most recent findings in support of coffee is that drinking coffee can make you live longer.

This is no joke! Coffee can add years to your life. How? Read on.

The search for the elixir of life

Throughout history, the elixir of life had been man’s quest. The search for the fountain of youth had sparked folklore and legends to the point that people could no longer distinguish fact and fiction.

In today’s modern world, people are still longing to find a way to fight aging and extend human lifespan. After all, scientists and geneticists have found that our cells have the natural capacity to regenerate and heal. In effect, enhancing this natural process of our body would significantly improve mortality.

As a result, health experts advise that healthy eating and lifestyle can contribute to slowing-down aging. Moreover, it can reduce the risk of developing diseases that can cause premature death.

Recently, medical researchers confirmed that coffee can make you live longer. Could coffee be the long-lost elixir? Let’s look at the recent findings and other related studies that support this claim.

Coffee and antioxidants

Does Coffee Make You Live LongerI am sure coffee lovers are grinning from ear to ear. This adds to the growing list of coffee’s health benefits.

Coffee is often misunderstood because of its caffeine content. True, coffee has caffeine, and caffeine is not always healthy, but in coffee it is natural, processed and produced naturally. Plus, caffeine is not the only content of coffee. Coffee has hundreds of different compounds and most of these are beneficial for you.

In fact, coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants. Caffeine is one of them, plus there are five more essential antioxidants present in coffee. Check out the list of beneficial antioxidants in coffee here.

Antioxidants are one of the best compounds to fight aging. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation, which, while important to our body’s biochemistry, also creates highly reactive free radicals that can cause damage through chain reactions. As a result, our cells become weak and prone to cancer and heart diseases.

Every day, we are exposed to free radicals. Our air and environment are polluted. We inhale free radicals no matter how we protect ourselves. But we have an opportunity to lessen the effect by making sure that our daily food intake consists of antioxidants.

Did you know that coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants? According to National Health Institutes, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. More than half of the American population drink brewed coffee. At this rate, they get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables.

Coffee and longevity: the findings

Two landmark studies confirmed that coffee can help you live longer.

The study by Dr. Neal Freedman and his team analyzed the association between coffee drinking and mortality rate. The groundbreaking study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012.

In this study, 229,119 men and 173,141 women between 50 to 71 years old were asked about their coffee consumption. The researchers made follow-ups between 1995 and 2008. During the 13-year period, they found that those who drank more coffee were less likely to die.

The researchers also found out how much coffee is needed to achieve better results. They noted that men who drank 4 to 5 cups per day have a 12 percent reduced risk of death and 16 percent for women who drank the same amount. If you drink more than 6 cups per day, there is no additional benefit provided.

If you are not a coffee lover, a cup of coffee a day is associated with a 5 percent reduced risk of death.

However, Freedman and his team noted that people with existing health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes were not included in the study.

In two new studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed the coffee-drinking habits of more than 700,000 people in the U.S. and in 10 European countries. The research team was particularly interested in looking at mortality rates among people of non-white populations. In both studies, people in these groups who drank more coffee tended to have a lower risk of dying during the study period than those who drank less coffee, or no coffee.

In the U.S. study, African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites who drank more than four cups of coffee a day showed an 18 percent lower risk of premature death in the 16 years of follow-up, compared to non-drinkers. Even those who drank a single cup of coffee a day showed some benefit; their risk of dying early was 12 percent lower compared to non-drinkers.

In the European study, researchers found similar benefits. Heavier coffee drinkers had a 7 percent to 12 percent lower risk of dying prematurely compared to non-drinkers. These scientists also found that coffee lovers had lower rates of digestive diseases and heart-related conditions, such as stroke.

Premature death can be caused by several factors. Diseases like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are some of the leading causes of early death among people.

The researchers noted that they did not observe the type of brew, the kind of roast, or whether the drinkers take instant coffee or brewed. The observational study focused on tabulating the amount and frequency of coffee consumption.

Another cup, please!

Based on the studies mentioned, drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day can have significant effects.

However, some people may feel that they cannot take drink that much, but they still want to enjoy coffee’s benefit. You can take a cup of coffee every day, preferably in the morning. This will give you enough energy and stamina for the next six hours.

If you fear the coffee may not make you sleep, that’s just the initial reaction of your body to caffeine. If this is your first time drinking coffee, the caffeine kick can be really strong, but, the effect of caffeine will diminish if you drink coffee again the next day, or even later the same day. If you drink coffee the first time, do it in the morning

Coffee can help you live longer, but it is not a cure-all drink. If you are suffering from a health condition, coffee is not a medicine. You may need to check with your doctor if the caffeine in coffee will have an effect in your regular medications. Do not attempt to self-medicate. Also, if you really want to live longer, you need to take a review of eating habits and lifestyle. Coffee is not a magic drink. Exercise, plus a healthy and balanced lifestyle, will be beneficial if you want to fight aging and live longer. That said, enjoy your cup of coffee today and add more years to your life. You’ll never regret it!

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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