A recent study suggests that the dark beverage can bring some hidden health benefits to drinkers since each sip of coffee may lower risk of early death from chronic disease including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Scientists found that people who moderately drink the caffeinated beverage have a lower risk of dying prematurely from a wide range of diseases and even suicide. Still, coffee was not proven effective in off-setting the negative outcomes of smoking, researchers noted.
The research team reported that regular coffee can help people lower their risk of death from those conditions as long as they don’t surpass a five cup daily limit. Even decaf coffee had positive outcomes on study participants’ health.
Investigators at Harvard University’s school of public health explained that if regular consumption of coffee stays within the 3 to 5 cups per day range, it is linked with a lower risk of early death from heart disease, diabetes, and suicide. Plus, overall mortality risk is also reduced.
Frank Hu, lead author of the study and nutrition expert with Harvard University’s school of public health, said that both caffeinated and decaf coffee were associated with lower risk of death, but the conclusions were only preliminary.
Prof Hu’s team sifted through data on over 200,000 physicians and nurses that were surveyed constantly on their eating habits, lifestyle patterns, and overall health for more than two decades.
The study revealed that coffee drinkers had lower risk of dying than people who didn’t drink. And the results were even clearer when study investigators didn’t take into account smokers. People who did not smoke but drank coffee had an 8 percent to 15 percent lower risk of dying. The risk was lowered by each sip.
Nevertheless, researchers didn’t find a cause-and-effect relationship between coffee consumption and lower mortality risk. Plus, there are also other factors that need to be factored in when drawing final conclusions. For instance, coffee-drinkers are also more prone to smoke, drink alcohol, and consume red meat in excess.
Additionally, other lifestyle choices may influence the study’s results such as physical activity, type of coffee preferred, and amount of added sugar in the dark beverage. Hu cautioned that the study’s findings do not advocate coffee as a way to ward off chronic disease.
Hu explained that diet and lifestyle choices can have a much greater effect on chronic disease than a few cups of java. He also cautioned that amount of sugar added to our daily coffee is a reason of concern and may offset the drink’s newly-found benefits.
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