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Could Coffee Hold the Key to Longevity?

Updated on July 16, 2014
The naturally occurring chemical compounds found in coffee may indeed increase human longevity.
The naturally occurring chemical compounds found in coffee may indeed increase human longevity. | Source

Coffee Linked to Longer Lifespan, Say Researchers

If you're like me, a good cup of hot coffee in the morning is the only way to start a fabulous day.

Some researchers are now claiming that this wonderful caffeinated elixir made in millions of coffee machines around the world every day may not only taste good, it may prolong your life. If this is true, coffee shop patrons could soon be dancing in the streets - for a few more years than they expected.

This particular report linking coffee and longevity was recently published in the highly respected New England Journal of Medicine. The research was actually done by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Researchers kept track of over 400,000 men and women aged 50 to 71 years of age for a period of 13 years. You can see the results of the study here.

The research found that folks who had more than two or more cups of coffee per day were at less risk of dying from certain specific diseases that affected non-coffee drinkers. Basically, those who drink coffee may enjoy the benefits of longevity.

That's got to be great news for those of us who love coffee, however, before you skip off to the local coffee shop whistling a happy tune, consider the following information...

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That magical brew made in millions of coffee machines around the world may have many health benefits.
That magical brew made in millions of coffee machines around the world may have many health benefits. | Source

Coffee Drinkers Less Likely to Die As Soon

While researchers found coffee drinkers do indeed live longer and may not be affected as much by diseases of non-coffee drinkers, they could not pin down the specific ingredients in coffee that may protect coffee drinkers from various diseases.

Sure, there are a load of beneficial antioxidants, flavenoids and unique compounds combined together in a cup of coffee, but what are the specific ingredients of this longevity elixir that are dispensed from coffee makers? Well, they haven't figured that part out just yet.

The best news from this research is that coffee drinkers did not die as early due to respiratory diseases, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, infections, accidents or other injuries. Those who consumed more coffee were less likely to suffer as early from these conditions.

The research found that these coffee shop patrons lowered their risk of death by as much as 16 percent. Does that mean if I drink more than two cups of coffee each day I'll live 16 percent longer? Hmm, maybe I should ponder this over a cup of coffee?

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More Coffee,: Up to 16% Longer Life

So I started thinking about this research and I reckoned that if I drink more coffee, I should get more health benefits and live even longer, right?

Does drinking more coffee increase longevity? Research seems to indicate a connection.
Does drinking more coffee increase longevity? Research seems to indicate a connection. | Source

Well, researchers aren't quite sure and there is no one researcher who is willing to make that claim. I mean, imagine the runs on coffee shops! Sales of coffee machines would skyrocket and coffee supplies might become dangerously low.

That is not likely to happen, however, the research did bear out the following interesting information:

Female coffee drinkers who consumed two or three cups of coffee each day were not as likely to die as soon female non-coffee drinkers.

That's a 13 percent better chance of avoiding disease and living longer for coffee drinkers.

Those women who had four to five cups of coffee enjoyed a 16 percent better chance of avoiding disease and living longer.

For men, the benefit was not quite that high.

Male coffee drinkers could lower their chance of disease and death by 10 percent.

Although they only studied those who drank as many as six cups, researchers also discovered that drinking more coffee increased the chances of living longer.

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If coffee does increase human lifespans, coffee shops could become the most popular spots on the planet.
If coffee does increase human lifespans, coffee shops could become the most popular spots on the planet. | Source

Is Coffee the Magic Elixer of Longevity?

So, should you just take coffee intravenously throughout the day to get even more benefits of longevity?

Or perhaps coffee makers could come with an IV tube that puts coffee right into your vein.

Maybe multiple visits to the coffee shop will get you a better rate on your life insurance.

None of those things are likely to happen just yet.

As much as I would like to claim that there is absolute, definitive proof that coffee extends longevity, the research just doesn't go that far. While it is true there seems to be a link between drinking coffee and longer life, researchers admitted that the study was more observational than actually clinical.

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Coffee and Longevity...

The Bottom Line on Coffee and Health

Apparently coffee consumption is good for you and can indeed affect longevity. There is enough evidence of this to warrant further research and that is the good news.

Benefits of coffee found in other recent studies include a lowered risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimers's diseases, dementia and depression. All good benefits from drinking coffee.


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Coffee Preparation is Important

One word of advice on preparing your next cup of coffee. The way in which you prepare your coffee does have an effect on the health benefiting compounds therein. Kahweol and cafestrol have been proven to raise LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

Coffee machines with filters remove the bad chemical compounds from coffee.
Coffee machines with filters remove the bad chemical compounds from coffee. | Source

LDL is the "bad" cholesterol that causes damage to the body's arteries. These unhealthy substances are removed when coffee is prepared using a filter.

These potentially harmful chemicals remain in espresso, boiled coffee and coffee prepared in a French press.

Most all commercial and consumer coffee machines use a filter to remove cafestrol and kahweol. Single serve coffee machines like the Keurig® also utilize a filter.

One last thing, the research did not take into account flavored coffees or coffee with large amounts of sugar and creamers. These things add their own risks to coffee so keep that in mind as you enjoy your coffee. Another consideration is the amount of caffeine present in coffee.

As a coffee drinker, I think this is good news overall. So with all of this in mind, I raise my morning cup of coffee and proclaim, "to life!"


The information in this article is provided as a information resource only. This information should not used for treatment or diagnosis of any medical conditions. As a first step, always consult your physician or healthcare professional before making any decision or assessment regarding any possible medical condition.

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On average, how many cups of coffee do you enjoy each morning?

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I know it's rather expensive, but this is one of the best coffees I have ever tasted. You may want to try it...

Comments

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    • MKayo profile image
      Author

      MKayo 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for reading savingkathy and pstraubie48 - and for the kind words!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Wow...so much I did not know I knew that makes me happy I enjoy this lovely drink. I usually do not have four cups a day but I can fix that. :)

      Thanks for sharing this...

      Sending Angels to you this tenth day of the new year.. :) ps

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Very interesting. I think this is great news, since I do love my coffee!

    • MKayo profile image
      Author

      MKayo 5 years ago from Texas

      Monis Mas. BB and botipton - Thanls for the read and taking time to leave a comment - you're all so kind. BB, not sure about mochas, i think the research was just coffee - so you're on you own there. Botipton, may we all live to be 200! Me, I'm making another cup on this cold winter's day!

    • botipton profile image

      Bo Tipton 5 years ago from Cecilia, KY

      This is great news. This means I will probably live to be 200. Very interesting information and worth looking into further and seeing what else they find.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting! Are we talking just coffee, or coffee drinks like mochas, because I really do not like regular coffee, but I do have two mochas each week....not daily, just two per week. :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      What a great news! I love coffee, I have a few cups a day, and I look forward to it every morning. Thanks for very interesting hub!

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