This new brewhaha will delight caffeine fiends
Ignore the bad press about coffee - latte lovers are going to live longer to enjoy it, a study suggests
What’s in a cuppa joe?
Coffee drinkers are used to theories about their favourite addiction heating up and cooling down.
The one minute your double shot with wings every morning is slowly eating away at your lifespan, the next minute that theory is a has “bean” and you discover you’re adding a decade onto a life lived in the fast lane.
This time around, the news is good – and it has a twist.
Not only do coffee drinkers live longer, but it also doesn’t matter what type of coffee you drink. If you’re wolfing down an instant coffee, ordering a no-fun decaf latte, or having a triple shot of extra-strength filter coffee, the effects are the same.
And on top of that, genetic variations and how you metabolise coffee do not matter – the effect remains.The study, by the National Cancer Institute in the UK, involved half a million volunteer participants. They’re all signed up for the larger UK Biobank study for which they had to provide a sample of their blood and answers to several questions about their lifestyle.
The broader research goal of this study is several different aspects of health and genetic makeup.
Focusing in on the coffee-drinking habits, the researchers detailed who drank what type of coffee, how frequently they drank it, and differences in genes that result in varying ways of metabolising coffee.
They then looked at mortality rates over 10 years of the study and, voila, of the 14,000 who had died, coffee drinkers regardless of type of coffee – and even those who were consuming as many as eight cups a day – had been less likely to die.
The results were published in the Internal Medicine Journal of the American Medical Association.
But, like any good label, they came with a cautionary note: “The results come with a warning to interpret them with caution because they are based on observational data and cannot prove causation,” lead researcher Erikka Loftfield said.If coffee is indeed the cause behind the lower mortality rates, though, what might be the lifesaving benefits at play?
Some studies have suggested it is full of antioxidants, which fight the daily damage done to our DNA.
Other studies have found that it can reduce inflammation, lower diabetes and aid liver function, while also protecting against diseases like Parkinson’s.
Now the researchers want to take it a step further by looking at how people prepare their coffee, and if that makes any difference.
Previous studies have suggested that pressed coffee made in percolators may raise cholesterol levels to unhealthy heights, so this is what the researchers want to explore further.
In the meantime, instead of singing for your supper, clap for your caffeine – it is adding life.