Research published Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found an association between coffee and good health. The results from both studies suggest that the more coffee you drink, the lower your risk of dying from illnesses like heart disease. The benefits were the same for both decaf and caffeinated coffee.
In one study, researchers examined data from 185,000 people across multiple populations, including African Americans, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Latinos and whites, over a 16-year period. Researchers looked at individuals’ coffee consumption patterns through a questionnaire as well as their health data, like whether they smoked or had an illness.
The study concluded that greater consumption of coffee was linked to a lower risk for death in all population groups, except for Native Hawaiians, which showed no notable difference. People who drank two to four cups per day had an 18 percent lower risk of dying from diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer than those who didn’t consume the beverage.
The other study, unrelated to the first, examined 520,000 people in 10 European countries, also over a 16-year period. The researchers found that coffee consumption lowered the risk for mortality, especially from digestive and circulatory diseases. This effect was observed across each country and didn’t vary by location.
There are some slight caveats with all of this. The first study defined a cup of coffee as eight ounces, but didn’t account for the type of coffee or what was in it. So, it isn’t clear if additives like cream and sugar, or the variety of beans, make a difference. (Doctoring your drinks can rack up calories, which isn’t so great for your health, so it’s best to beware.) Also, the research didn’t examine how much caffeine was in the coffee the individuals drank.
Despite the positive outcome of these studies, you shouldn’t be guzzling down cold brew in hopes that it will be a magical, life-extending elixir. The researchers noted that it’s premature to recommend drinking coffee as a way to prevent illness or increase your longevity, Today reported.
More research needs to be done in order to definitively determine whether coffee can fight disease. It’s also a good idea to practice good lifestyle behaviors, like eating a healthy diet, controlling stress and exercising in order to boost your well-being.
Still, the new studies add to previous research that shows coffee may reduce stress, boost liver health and keep your brain sharp. So, if you like your coffee, may as well keep up the habit.
Who’s ready to go get a latte (or several)?