New British study shows drinking coffee may boost longevity

Published On July 3, 2018 | By ornellacariello | Health, Life, News

Coffee may not be the villain anymore.  A new British study of more than 500,000 people shows coffee drinkers might live longer than those who don’t drink java. (Shutterstock)

Ornella Cariello

Even the heaviest coffee drinkers are less likely to die over a 10-year period than people who don’t drink coffee, according to a new U.K. research report.

The good news for coffee lovers gets even better. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee — and that includes decaf and instant coffee — nor how many cups people drink in a day.

The latest study, published yesterday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, used data from individuals from across the U.K. who took part in a large genetic study called the U.K. Biobank.

More than half a million people volunteered to help the research by answering questions about coffee consumption, smoking and drinking habits and additional health and lifestyle questions.

The research is also the first large study that suggests a benefit to people with genetic glitches affecting their caffeine consumption.

The team at the National Cancer Institute investigated potential effect modification by caffeine metabolism and looked at death rates over 10 years of the study.

The results are surprising for those who believe coffee is bad for health, as previous research indicates.

“Health Canada says that most people can have 400 ml of caffeine per day and be totally fine,” said Andy De Santis, a registered dietitian in Toronto. “However, some people are sensitive to caffeine, and if they have caffeine it can cause a lot of negative effects.”

According to a study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma, caffeine can cause anxiety, especially in vulnerable patients, and symptoms of depression, while a University of Nevada School of Medicine study reported regular coffee may reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

It also used to be associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels, increased risk of heart disease, negative effects on cardiovascular health in young adults with mild hypertension and more.

“A lot of people think that caffeine is associated with depression or other diseases, but if you look at the evidence for conditions like depression, Parkinson’s and others, the data shows that people who have more caffeine have a lower risk of disease,” De Santis said.

He said coffee contains lots of healthy compounds and antioxidants, and those two together have the best healthy benefits.

“A lot of evidence says that coffee is actually protective,” De Santis said.

At Humber College, the student’s reaction to the new research ranged from “I am so happy to hear that,” to not caring if it’s bad or good, “I will drink it anyway.”

Kainat Yousaf, a cosmetic management student at North campus, said she always heard people saying coffee is not good for her health, but she didn’t change her habits.

“When you get addicted [to coffee], you cannot live without it,” she said. “I have headaches when I don’t drink so right now I’m drinking three times a day.”

Students interviewed by Humber News say the average amount of coffee they drink is two to three cups per day.

Some of them argued there is a lot of contradictory information, therefore, they only care about the good taste and the energy boost.

“If it’s good for health, I’m gonna drink even more,” Yousaf said.

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