DOES COFFEE MAKE YOU LIVE LONGER?
Does coffee make you live longer? Is coffee good for your health? Studies to give a satisfactory, scientifically proven answers about the health benefits of coffee have been sparse. However, the energizing and revitalizing effects of this have been known for centuries. Legend has it that coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goatherd after he noticed how the berries from a coffee plant made his goats excited. There is another legend which attributes the discovery to a spiritual healer in ancient Yemen who, while being exiled to a desert cave, boiled these berries and was sustained for days. The legend goes on to say that when the ruler heard about the healer and his medicine, he welcomed him back in the country and made him a saint. Even though these accounts are just legends, they started the history of coffee on the right note, as a miracle drug or a beverage that has revitalizing effects.
Is Coffee Good For Your Health?
It does not require much expertise to assume that a healthy person has a higher chance of living longer. So, before we come to the conclusion about whether coffee makes you live longer or not, let us see the health benefits of coffee, and if it has such benefits, how much caffeine should you have a day to enjoy these benefits.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has nutritional contents
Is coffee good for your health? Coffee has a number of essential nutrients and micronutrients like Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Niacin. Even though these components are found in a small proportion, a person who takes three to four cups a day may get a significant amount of these nutrients.
Coffee aids in burning fat
Is coffee good for your health? Coffee is one of the few beverages that have been proven by studies to aid in burning fat. Even though the capacity of coffee to increase the rate of fat burning is less in obese people, it is still very significant at 10 percent. On the same line is it proven that coffee also increases the metabolic rate by up to 11 percent. From these facts, we can easily assume the benefits coffee will have on our health, particularly in combating many serious health issues associated with obesity.
Coffee and cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in its review in 2016 about coffee and the possibility of developing cancer, not only found no such association but also found evidence that coffee helps in reducing certain types of cancer occurrence
Coffee and Type II diabetes
The association between coffee and Type II diabetes is a well-researched subject in an otherwise sparse evidence of conclusive studies, maybe because of the serious health problem affecting so many people worldwide. Is coffee good for your health? Studies have shown that coffee reduces the risk of developing this disease by 7 percent to as much as 50 percent.
Coffee and Alzheimer’s disease
Unfortunately for many, a cure for Alzheimer’s has not yet been discovered. But, luckily for the younger generation, several studies have suggested an easy way to prevent this disease. It has been shown that the risk of getting this disease is lower by up to 65 percent in coffee drinkers than in non-drinkers.
Coffee and liver diseases
Is coffee good for your health? Research has shown that coffee has protective effects on the liver and reduces the risk of various liver problems like cancer, cirrhosis, fibrosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases and various other chronic liver diseases. It has also been proven in various Hepatitis C-related patients that coffee drinking lowers the rate of disease progression.
Coffee and cardiovascular health
Although coffee has been associated with increased blood pressure, the increase is minimal and in most cases temporary. Studies have shown that coffee is associated with reduced risk of strokes, especially in women, by as much as 20 percent.
On the other hand, coffee has also been shown to increase cholesterol levels; however, this is largely dependent on the method of preparation and amount of intake. Trials with moderate intake of coffee (3 – 5 cups a day) have shown that this has no effect on the cholesterol level, and it stated that caffeine alone is unlikely to be the cause of such coronary diseases.
Coffee contains antioxidants
Is coffee good for your health? Coffee has more than enough amount of antioxidants in it to keep a person healthy. In fact, it has been proven that a combination of fruits and vegetables don’t give as many antioxidants as coffee does to a moderate drinker on a normal Western diet.
Given these health benefits of coffee, it is not difficult to answer the question “Is coffee good for your health?”. But, what has been proven about the benefits of coffee on health is that like all other things, too much of it is bad. So, you must also know how much caffeine you should have a day. Most studies described above suggests moderate consumption of coffee since the excess amount of caffeine may reverse the benefits and even have undesirable effects on the health of a person. European Food Safety Authority, in its review of caffeine safety, defines moderate consumption of coffee as three to five cups a day.
Does Coffee Make You Live Longer?
From the various health benefits of coffee described above, it would not be wrong if we come to the conclusion that coffee is good for your health and therefore it makes you live longer. Because healthy people live longer than unhealthy ones. However, let’s look into a study that tries to answer this particular question and see if we can find conclusive evidence to support this potential conclusion.
In The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Total and Disease-Specific Mortality: a Cohort Study, published in Ann Intern Med (2008), which was a study to research the association between coffee consumption and increased mortality, about 100,000 participants were studied. The study, instead of finding proof of increased mortality caused by coffee, found an inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality, after adjusting for other factors like cigarette smoking. Some of the healthiest participants were moderate coffee drinkers.
The results of studies we have described above show that the issues of whether coffee is good for your health, and how much caffeine you should take a day may be a lot easier to answer than whether coffee does make you live longer or not. To find a satisfactory answer, many people will have to take part in a study, one group having to take coffee every day while another group will have to abstain from the delicious beverage altogether for their whole lives. So, until that type of experiment can be conducted, we can conclude that yes, coffee has so many health benefits and if you carefully control how much caffeine you take in a day, coffee does make you live longer.