HOW THREE CUPS OF COFFEE A DAY COULD EXTEND YOUR LIFE
DRINKING three cups of coffee a day could extend your life, research suggests. Two major studies, one led by British researchers and one in the US, have independently found consuming up to three cups a day reduces the risk of an early death.
The papers, both published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found links between coffee and reduced risks of liver disease, circulatory problems and diseases linked to the digestive tract.
The scientists believe the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee are responsible for the benefits, rather than caffeine. People who drank decaffeinated coffee were also protected, the researchers found.
Coffee seems to improve liver function, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, they said.
The European study, led by Imperial College London and the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer, tracked 520 000 people over the age of 35 in 10 countries for an average of 16 years.
It found men who drank three cups of coffee a day were 18% less likely to die over that period, when compared to people who did not drink coffee at all.
Women who drank three cups of the beverage a day had an 8% reduced chance of death.
The US study, led by the University of Southern California, which involved 186 000 people, who were also tracked for 16 years, found similar results. Americans who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die, compared to those who didn’t drink coffee, and those who drank three cups had an 18% reduced chance of death.
European study leader Dr Marc Gunter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said: “We found higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases.
“Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs.”
The researchers also found coffee drinkers had healthier livers overall and better glucose control than non-coffee drinkers.
Coffee contains a number of compounds which interact with the body, including caffeine, diterpenes and antioxidants, and the scientists believe some of these have a protective impact.
Gunter added: “We are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee. That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking – up to around three cups per day – is not detrimental and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.”
US study leader Dr Veronica Setiawan, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said: “Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention.”
*** PEPPING UP THE PLANET
2.25 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide each day, 55 million of them in Britain.
Its use is thought to date from 11th century Ethiopia, when a goatherd noticed his animals became energetic after eating the berries of a coffee plant.
Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, consumed every day by 90% of us.
The drug stimulates the central nervous system, reducing tiredness and increasing alertness.
Coffee is said to protect against womb and liver cancer and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
But drinking more than 0.4g of caffeine a day has been linked to anxiety, sleeplessness and disturbed heart rhythm.
– Daily Mail
Coffee can reduce the risk of liver disease and circulatory problems.