Time for a brew! Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day can help you live longer according to a recent study.
Research that’s been a decade in the making with nearly 500,000 people taking part found that regular coffee drinkers were 12% less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers. That’s on top of being a fifth less likely to get cardiovascular diseases or suffer a stroke!
To date, it’s the largest volume of research that focuses on the effects of coffee on the heart. This comes as some past studies have indicated that drinking coffee could increase the risk of blood pressure.
Read on to learn about what the study involved and what it discovered about coffee’s lasting impact on health.
What was the study?
The study was conducted by academics from Queen Mary University of London and Semmelweis University in Hungary. Nearly 500,000 participants were taken from the UK Biobank. They had an average age of 56 and didn’t have heart disease when the study began.
The volunteers were then followed for 11 years, allowing the researchers to analyse the differences between the groups.
Among the participants 22% were non-coffee drinkers and 58% drank between 1-3 cups of coffee a day. The remaining 20% drank at least 3 cups of coffee a day.
What were the study’s findings?
The results indicated that those who drank 0.5-3 cups of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die by the end of the study than those who didn’t drink any coffee at all.
But that’s not all. The coffee drinkers of up to 3 cups a day were 17% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 21% less likely to have a stroke compared with non-coffee drinkers.
They were less likely to be diabetic too.
Perhaps most interesting of all, researchers believe that coffee’s positive effects could be linked to changes in heart structure found in those that drank coffee.
They examined the MRI results of 30,000 study participants and found that those who consumed a medium to a high amount of caffeine had larger heart ventricles, meaning they could pump out more blood.
The health benefits of drinking coffee
Caffeine is an appetite suppressant which means it could also help reduce obesity and related health problems!
Regularly consuming coffee may even help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes over time. This is believed to be attributed to coffee’s ability to preserve the function of the beta cells in the pancreas. These produce insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Although research results are still mixed, it’s thought that coffee could protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Several other studies have found that a moderate amount of coffee a day could produce a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Plus, coffee is also naturally rich in health-boosting minerals. It’s also a huge source of antioxidants. In fact, according to research, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. More so than fruits and vegetables!
This isn’t because coffee has a higher number of antioxidants. Rather, coffee intake is so popular that it contributes more to people’s antioxidant intake on average.
Antioxidants are a vital part of a healthy diet as they protect against oxidative stress in the body caused by free radicals.
Oxidation is thought to be a main link to ageing and serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Is there a difference between instant coffee and coffee grounds?
The study found that not all coffee helps you live longer. A quarter of participants drank instant coffee for the duration of the study, and they received no health benefits.
This is thought to be because instant coffee has less caffeine and antioxidants and significantly less potassium. Basically, the good stuff.
Instant coffee also has twice the amount of acrylamide, a chemical found in some food products that has been linked to a higher risk of cancer and nervous system health issues. However, this is only a serious problem if you consume too much of it.
The bottom line: the life longevity boosting results of the study were found in only freshly brewed ground coffee!
Whether or not coffee can help you live longer has been a debate for some time. However, thanks to this decade long study, we may finally have our answer.