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Coffee drinkers live longer: study

A study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., has found that coffee drinkers live longer than people who avoid coffee.

Coffee cup 2012 05 16Enlarge
A freshly made cappuccino at Ritual Coffee in San Francisco, Calif., on Aug. 26, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., has found that coffee drinkers live longer than people who avoid coffee, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek:

Men who drank 2 to 3 cups a day had a 10 percent chance of outliving those who drank no coffee, while women had a 13 percent advantage, according to research to published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Coffee-drinkers had a lower risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, injuries and accidents and infections, but not cancer, Reuters reported.

For most, downing six or more cups a coffee a day lowered the risk even more, the researchers said, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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The study is the largest to compare the risk of dying for coffee-drinkers and coffee-avoiders, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The researchers studied 402,260 members of the American Association of Retired Persons, according to Discovery News.

Neal Freedman, the lead study author, said researchers didn’t know why coffee appears to have longevity benefits, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

One possibility: There are chemicals in coffee that can prevent mutations, Discovery News reported. "Some of the components in coffee are among the strongest and most abundant antioxidants in our diets," Edward Giovannucci, a nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told Discovery News.

The study is good news for coffee drinkers who can’t shake the habit. "For those who do drink coffee, there's no reason to stop,” Dr. Lawrence Krakoff, a cardiologist from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who wasn't involved in the new research, told Reuters. “Periodically someone will say it's bad, but I think this strengthens the view that it's not harmful."

He continued: "Whether it's beneficial – without knowing the cause, it's hard to say. I wouldn't encourage people to suddenly drink a lot of coffee with the expectation of benefit."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120516/coffee-drinkers-live-longer-study