What if your morning cup of joe was responsible for keeping you healthy for longer? This is what one study now suggests, and it’s having people second-guess how much coffee they consume on a regular basis.
The new report claims that coffee consumption may be linked to a lower chance of death, compared to non-coffee drinkers. To conduct their study, the researchers invited approximately 9.2 million people from across the UK to participate. They used baseline demographic, lifestyle, and genetic data from the UK Biobank cohort to draw their conclusions.
The individuals who participated in the study were followed up with beginning in 2006 and ending in 2016. The goal was to estimate their hazard ratios for coffee intake and mortality “using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.”
“Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking 8 or more cups per day and those with genetic polymorphisms indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism,” concluded the authors of the report. “These findings suggest the importance of noncaffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet.”
Understanding the Results
Before you run off and begin brewing yourself a pot of coffee, it’s important to recognize some of the underlying factors about the report. Most importantly, this is a correlation study. This means that there is an association between coffee consumption and lower risk of death. However, it is unclear if the lower risk of death is explicitly because of the coffee consumption (Musgrave, 2018).
The “healthiness” of coffee has come into question many times in the past, and this study leaves the door open for some of those assumptions to be made. However, past research has suggested that coffee can effectively reduce the risk of certain health complications, such as heart disease, various types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
“At this point, the study provides reassurance to coffee drinkers, not guidance,” National Cancer Institute research fellow Erikka Loftfield told the New York Times. “The results don’t indicate that people should begin drinking coffee for its health benefits (Bakalar, 2018).”
Bakalar, Nicholas. “Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer.” New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/well/coffee-drinkers-may-live-longer.html.
Loftfield, Erikka. Cornelis, Marilyn. Caporaso, Neil. “Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism.” JAMA Internal Medicine. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2686145