As it turns out, drinking a few cups of coffee a day can do more than just give you a jolt at work — it may even help you live longer.
Two to three cups of coffee a day are associated with a longer lifespan and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Based on an analysis of the habits of nearly 450,000 people, those benefits were seen regardless of whether the coffee contained caffeine or not, whether it was ground or instant coffee.
“Ground, instant coffee and decaffeinated coffee were associated with an equivalent reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study author Peter Kistler. “The results suggest that a mild to moderate intake of ground coffee, instant coffee and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”
The study looked specifically at the association between mild coffee consumption and cardiovascular problems, including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and ischemic stroke. Participants were free of these conditions at baseline and asked researchers how much and what type of coffee they drank each day, if any.
Researchers followed the participants for a median time of 12.5 years.
At that time, more than 43,000 participants were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, 9.6% of the total. Those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had the lowest risk of developing the disease, researchers found, and those who drank ground coffee, instant coffee and decaffeinated coffee had a 20%, 9% and 6% reduced chance, respectively. .
Another 30,100 people were diagnosed with arrhythmia. While ground and instant coffee were associated with a lower risk of that development, decaf coffee didn’t help, researchers found. Unlike other areas, drinking even more coffee made a difference for this condition, with those drinking four to five cups a day having the lowest reduced risk. Those who drank two to three cups also saw a significantly lower risk.
At the end of the study, 27,809 (6.2%) of the participants had died. However, it was found that all types of coffee were associated with a reduction in the number of deaths from any cause, with two to three cups a day showing the greatest benefits. Ground, decaffeinated and instant coffee were linked to a 27%, 14% and 11% lower risk of death, respectively.
Kistler said that while caffeine is the most well-known aspect of coffee, it probably isn’t the reason for the drink’s life-saving properties. Coffee has more than 100 biologically active components, he said.
“It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival,” he said. “Our findings indicate that drinking moderate amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged, but can be enjoyed as heart healthy behavior.”
This study adds to previous research that coffee, especially several cups a day, has.
A 2018 study found that coffee drinkers drank about 10% too much coffee over a 10-year study periodthan those who did not drink coffee. Another, published last year, found that drinking three to four cups of coffee, whether or not it contains caffeine, reduces the risk of developing and dying from diabetes. .
Editor’s Note: This story and headline have been updated to more accurately reflect the findings of the observational study.
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