Does Drinking Coffee Help You Live Longer?
People who drink coffee are likely to live longer than non-coffee drinkers, according to a new study. Researchers conducted the largest ever study on the link between coffee and longevity and said the result should assuage any fears that people have of coffee being bad for their health.
"Our study suggests that's really not the case," Neal Freedman, lead researcher and researcher at the National Cancer Institute, told Fox News. "There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking."
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Coffee addicts fared the best -- men who drank at least six cups of coffee per day had a 10 percent lower chance of dying over the 14-year study than non-coffee drinkers. Women who drank the same amount had a 15 percent lower risk, according to the study.
Previous studies linked coffee consumption to heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, researchers said. However, many of those studies didn't take into account other factors such as smoking.
"It was only after we took into account people's smoking that the association, the inverse association, revealed itself," Freedman told MSNBC. "Smoking has a really strong association with death."
Researchers stressed that the study doesn't prove coffee drinking extends your life, but said there is a definite link. They also could not say what compound in coffee led to the beneficial effect.
"Coffee has more than 1,000 compounds and we really don't know what effects those compounds have on health," Freedman told MSNBC.
However, he told Reuters that the drink could have an effect in several ways.
"We know that coffee has an effect on the brain, so it's possible that may play a role," he told Reuters. "[Or] it may have an effect on bone health."
Spencer Turer, director of Coffee Analysts, a company that performs scientific coffee product reviews, said he findings bode well for avid coffee drinkers like himself.
"It's good news for all coffee drinkers because we can feel really good about the decisions we're making," he told MSNBC. "People concerned about the health effects may choose to drink more coffee."
However non-coffee drinkers should not start drinking coffee just because of this study, Freedman , told Reuters.
"We really caution against that," Freedman said. "We can't be sure that coffee is having the effect that we saw and coffee contains many different compounds that can affect health in different ways."
The New England Journal of Medicine published the study on Thursday.
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