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Have a cuppa:Coffee linked to lower risk of death

 
 
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 04:17 pm





May 16, 2012, 6:18 p.m.
Researchers have some reassuring news for the legions of coffee drinkers who can't get through the day without a latte, cappuccino, iced mocha, double-shot of espresso or a plain old cuppa joe: That coffee habit may help you live longer.

A new study that tracked the health and coffee consumption of more than 400,000 older adults for nearly 14 years found that java drinkers were less likely to die during the study than their counterparts who eschewed the brew. In fact, men and women who averaged four or five cups of coffee per day had the lowest risk of death, according to a report in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research doesn't prove that coffee deserves the credit for helping people live longer. But it is the largest analysis to date to suggest that the beverage's reputation for being a liquid vice may be undeserved.

"There's been concerns for a long time that coffee might be a risky behavior," said study leader Neal Freedman, an epidemiologist with the National Cancer Institute who drinks coffee "here and there." "The results offer some reassurance that it's not a risk factor for future disease."

Coffee originated in Ethiopia more than 500 years ago. As it spread through the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, its popularity was tempered by concerns about its supposed ill effects. A 1674 petition by aggrieved women in London complained that coffee left men impotent, "with nothing moist but their snotty noses, nothing stiff but their joints, nor standing but their ears," according to the book "Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World."

In more modern times, the caffeinated beverage has been seen as "a stimulating substance, a commonly consumed drug," said Rob van Dam, an epidemiologist at the National University of Singapore who has investigated the drink's health effects but was not involved in the latest study.

"People get somewhat dependent on it," Van Dam said. "If you try to rapidly reduce coffee consumption, you get headaches or other symptoms."

The National Coffee Assn. estimates that 64% of American adults drink coffee on a daily basis, with the average drinker consuming 3.2 cups each day. To get a deeper understanding of the risks and benefits of all that joe, the National Cancer Institute researchers turned to data on 402,260 adults who were between the ages of 50 and 71 when they joined the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995 and 1996. The volunteers were followed through December 2008 or until they died — whichever came first.

When the team first crunched the numbers, coffee seemed to have a detrimental effect on longevity. But people who drink coffee are more likely to smoke, and when the scientists took that into account (along with other demographic factors), the opposite appeared to be true.

Compared with men who didn't drink any coffee at all, those who drank just one cup per day had a 6% lower risk of death during the course of the study; those who drank two to three cups per day had a 10% lower risk, and those who had four to five cups had a 12% lower risk. For men who drank six cups or more, the apparent benefit waned slightly, with a 10% lower risk of death during the study compared with men who drank no coffee.

The relationship between coffee and risk of death was even more dramatic in women. Those who drank one cup per day had 5% lower odds of dying during the study compared with women who drank none. Those who consumed two or three cups a day were 13% less likely to die, those who downed four or five cups were 16% less likely to die, and those who drank six or more cups had a 15% lower mortality rate.

The effect held across a number of causes of death — including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes — but not cancer, the researchers found. And the link was stronger in coffee drinkers who had never smoked.

The correlation even held for people who mostly drank decaf brew, the researchers found.

"If these are real biological effects, they seem to [have] to do with the substances in coffee that are not caffeine," Van Dam said. Other compounds in the coffee could be linked to the lower death rates, he said — or there could be no causal relationship at all.

And, Van Dam added, the researchers didn't make distinctions between different types of drinks. Unfiltered brews like Turkish coffee or Scandinavian boiled coffee have been shown to raise cholesterol and could present very different results from the current study if examined separately, he said.

To prove that coffee deserves the credit, researchers could study each of the 1,000-odd compounds in the brew and test them on subjects over time to see if they reduced inflammation, improved the body's sensitivity to insulin or caused any other useful biological effects, he said.

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-sci-coffee-death-20120517,0,7014507.story

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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,669 • Replies: 23

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 04:17 pm
I average about four cups per day.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 04:18 pm
@edgarblythe,
I drink at least that; most days prob'ly more.
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 04:46 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Potatoes are good for you - now they are bad

Dark chocolate is not good for you - now a couple of pieces is

Red wine is not good for you - 2 glasses a night is "now"

Coffee is bad for you - now it is good

Don't you get confused as the years go by?

Well, in any event, I drink 3 at least to 4 every morning and then turn to water, well not literally Smile
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 05:02 pm
http://www.thebeanstock.com/images/b4coffee.jpg
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 May, 2012 08:08 pm
Of all the thousands of people I have known over the years, I have known exactly ONE who never drank coffee and didn't need one in the morning. He drank caffeine-laced ola in the mrnng instead. Go figure.

The ting is, Found Soul, I never take any of those food prohibitions seriously. You know there'll be new research down the road which will lead to a reversal of the current policy. Eggs were bad, they had too much cholesterol. Now everyone's admitting that was a wrong assessment. I never stopped eating eggs for breakfast. Ditto with coffee. I won't drink any more now that they're saying it's cool to.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 12:48 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Have a cuppa. There's more where that came from.

http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/05/16/coffeeme_wide.jpg?t=1337201894&s=3
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 09:10 am
@Lustig Andrei,
That looks so good! I also love all things coffee-flavored -- coffee ice-cream, yum!

I have one or two weird friends who love the aroma of coffee, but can't stand the taste and never drink it!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 09:16 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Of all the thousands of people I have known over the years, I have known exactly ONE who never drank coffee and didn't need one in the morning.


meet # 2

These days I have a cup of tea in the morning 3 - 5 days a week.

For the past decade, I've probably had 2 - 3 quarter-cups of decaf coffee a year (because I was in a sitation that offered no tea/water/juice).
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 09:16 am
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
I average about four cups per day.
See? its working for Edgar
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 09:21 am
@ehBeth,
I blame my mom for my habit. She'd let us, after much begging, have 'coffee-milk' -- a cup of milk flavored with a wee bit of coffee and a little sugar. We all grew up to be coffee drinkers. (Good thing we didn't beg for vodka or bourbon-milk lol).
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 12:16 pm
@farmerman,
For me it's about six cups a day, much of it decaf. What would I do without coffee or red wine (about two small glasses with supper--1 p.m.). So glad they are now considered healthful, although the spice-of-sin is lost.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 02:33 pm
@JLNobody,
If I ever find myself visiting any of you folks, please do not sereve me 'decaf'. I believe my heart will STOP. High test only, please. And I don't care if it's half an hour to bed-time. Ain't gonna keep me awake!
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 03:11 pm
Sometimes I complain about the cost, but when you consider how many cups per can you get, its not so bad.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 03:30 pm
@edgarblythe,
Some guy over in Jordan has figured out a way to turn coffee grounds into fuel for cars. Coffee, apparently, contains 10% oil.

(The things one learns from the interwebs)
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 03:41 pm
@Irishk,
Quote:
The thing is, Found Soul, I never take any of those food prohibitions seriously. You know there'll be new research down the road which will lead to a reversal of the current policy.


Absolutely agree.. Seems to be different every decade.

When I was in Oklahoma, they had the coffee pot on allll day, at the house I was staying at. Obviously, drank it all day as well.

I am spoilt. David bought a coffee machine, so every morning after I've had two normal coffees, I get a real one Smile As you pictured...............

Strangely, I can't or don't usually like to drink coffee after the morning.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 03:44 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
My wife gets the jitters if she drinks too much caffiene. If I drink it just before bedtime I have the benefits of a cup of warm milk. If you can come to my part of the country I'll serve you great coffee!
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 04:02 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Well, not here! I have good German whole bean coffee waiting that is every morning freshly brewed, cup by cup. I buy really good coffee and have one or maybe two cups in the morning and that will last me throughout the day.

I don't like drinking coffee anywhere else - compared to my good coffee at home, it's all dirty dishwasher water.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 04:05 pm
@CalamityJane,
Same here. I almost never buy a coffee out (unless we're traveling). I do like those iced mocha thingies every once in a while, though.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2012 04:30 pm
My mother always had a large coffee pot, which she kept full and hot all the day long. During different phases of our life together, she made it different ways for a long time. She finally settled on a huge pot which she boiled the water in and then dumped in the appropriate amount of coffee grounds. She dumped it directly from the can. Only she knew how to get it just right. It was crude and it was great. At about age thirteen or fourteen, I poured myself a cupful. She did not protest. I was a coffee drinker.

The coffee they served on the destroyer on which I served had coffee that seemed to be largely the outer portion of the coffee bean. It tasted awful, but we drank it anyway. Somebody left a sponge in the pot for a good spell and nobody could tell there was any difference.

Later, doing the construction jobs, I went from one project and boss to another. The coffee in the convenience stores varied from okay to raunchy, but my taste buds did not care. Today, I drink the HEB store brand and compared to the other stuff I have had it is incomparably good.
 

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