Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity (Update)

July 2, 2018 by Lindsey Tanner
Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity
This Thursday, March 29, 2018 photo shows a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles. A 10-year study released on Monday, July 2, 2018 shows that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death than abstainers, including those who downed at least eight cups daily. The benefit was seen with instant, ground, decaf, and in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Go ahead and have that cup of coffee, maybe even several more. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily.

In a study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than abstainers.

The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo U.S. research. It's the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.

Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal.

The results don't prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research. But she said the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers.

"It's hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us. Or at least not be bad," Lichtenstein said.

The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

It's not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity. Lead author Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage.

Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes. Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

Adam Taylor, fetching two iced coffees for friends Monday in downtown Chicago, said the study results make sense.

"Coffee makes you happy, it gives you something to look forward to in the morning," said Taylor, a sound engineer from Las Vegas.

"I try to have just one cup daily," Taylor said. "Otherwise I get a little hyper."

For the study, researchers invited 9 million British adults to take part; 498,134 women and men aged 40 to 69 agreed. The low participation rate means those involved may have been healthier than the general U.K. population, the researchers said.

Participants filled out questionnaires about daily coffee consumption, exercise and other habits, and received physical exams including blood tests. Most were coffee drinkers; 154,000 or almost one-third drank two to three cups daily and 10,000 drank at least eight cups daily.

During the next decade, 14,225 participants died, mostly of cancer or heart disease.

Caffeine can cause short-term increases in blood pressure, and some smaller studies have suggested that it might be linked with high blood pressure, especially in people with a genetic variation that causes them to metabolize caffeine slowly.

But coffee drinkers in the U.K. study didn't have higher risks than nondrinkers of dying from heart disease and other blood pressure-related causes. And when all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolizers had a longevity boost.

As in previous studies, coffee drinkers were more likely than abstainers to drink alcohol and smoke, but the researchers took those factors into account, and coffee drinking seemed to cancel them out.

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar. But Lichtenstein said loading coffee with extra fat and calories isn't healthy.

Explore further: Coffee helps teams work together, study suggests

More information: JAMA Internal Medicine (2018). jamanetwork.com/journals/jamai … ainternmed.2018.2425

Related Stories

Coffee helps teams work together, study suggests

June 5, 2018
Good teamwork begins with a cup of coffee for everyone, a new study suggests.

Coffee may do your liver good

June 11, 2018
(HealthDay)—More good news for coffee lovers: Having three or more cups of "joe" each day may help ward off serious liver ailments, new research suggests.

Does coffee help you live longer?

August 2, 2017
Can drinking coffee help you live longer? Two studies report that it may be true.

Drinking coffee reduces risk of death from all causes, study finds

July 10, 2017
People who drink around three cups of coffee a day may live longer than non-coffee drinkers, a landmark study has found.

Coffee increases prediabetes risk in susceptible young adults

September 2, 2014
Coffee increases the risk of prediabetes in young adults with hypertension who are slow caffeine metabolisers, according to results from the HARVEST study presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Lucio Mos from Italy. People ...

In the loop: Mayo physician dispels popular coffee misconceptions

November 17, 2017
Is coffee good or bad for us? How much is too much? Can it stunt growth? Donald Hensrud, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Healthy Living Program, provides answers to these much-debated questions.

Recommended for you

Teens get more sleep with later school start time, researchers find

December 12, 2018
When Seattle Public Schools announced that it would reorganize school start times across the district for the fall of 2016, the massive undertaking took more than a year to deploy. Elementary schools started earlier, while ...

Large restaurant portions a global problem, study finds

December 12, 2018
A new multi-country study finds that large, high-calorie portion sizes in fast food and full service restaurants is not a problem unique to the United States. An international team of researchers found that 94 percent of ...

Receiving genetic information can change risk

December 11, 2018
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease but, it turns out, in some cases might also have influenced that risk, ...

Yes please to yoghurt and cheese: The new improved Mediterranean diet

December 11, 2018
Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease ...

Effect of oral alfacalcidol on clinical outcomes in patients without secondary hyperparathyroidism

December 11, 2018
Treatment with active vitamin D did not decrease cardiovascular events in kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis, according to a research group in Japan. They have reported their research results in the December 11 issue ...

Licence to Swill: James Bond's drinking over six decades

December 10, 2018
He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia's Christmas ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet Jul 02, 2018
No word on what the non-coffee drinkers were drinking as an alternative eg alcohol? Tea? Soda?
rrwillsj
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2018
I gotta wonder who funded this study? And if not directly? Instigated this project through the Old Boys Club?

How much of your income would you allocate? If "They" "Proved" the "Health Benefits" of coffee addiction?

Asks the guy guzzling several pots a day.

I must be healthier than the proverbial "Horse".

And piss as much, too!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.