Studies Confirm the Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
There is great news out for coffee-drinking aficionados. Coffee can be good for you! While many of us have long touted the health benefits of drinking coffee, the science either wasn’t quite there or lagged in confirmation. Good news, though. In recent years, researchers have increasingly turned their attention to whether there are indeed any verifiable health benefits to coffee. Java drinkers will be pleased to know that science is confirming much of what we already believed. There are indeed certain health benefits - even for those drinking more than four cups a day!
So grab a cup of coffee while you read about the health benefits of your java.
According to a July 2017, Time Magazine article, two new studies published this past summer in the Annals of Internal Medicine found significant health benefits among coffee drinking participants versus the non-drinkers. One study was conducted by U.S. researchers and the other by European researchers coordinated across ten European nations.
Both the U.S. and European studies found that people who drank more coffee - even as much as four or more cups daily - had a lower risk of dying during the study than those who drank little to no coffee at all. However, even the one-cup a day coffee drinkers in the U.S. had a 12-percent lower risk of dying early compared to non-drinkers. The European study found similar results.
Although previous studies had confirmed the benefits of coffee drinking, those studies had gathered data from mostly all-White populations or study participants. For these two particular studies, the researchers wanted to see how other races and ethnicities would fare when it came to coffee drinking. The results were promising. What researchers found was that the benefits of coffee drinking transcended race and ethnicity.
The U.S. researchers found that "African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites who drank more than four cups of coffee a day showed an 18% lower risk of dying prematurely in the 16 years of follow-up, compared with non-drinkers.”
Even those who participants drank just one cup daily also showed some benefit. Their risk of dying early was 12% lower compared to non-drinkers. (Keep in mind that researchers relied on participants to self-report how much daily coffee they drank and there was no control for strength of their coffee.)
In the European study, scientists found similar results to the Americans. There were significant differences between heavy coffee drinkers versus non-drinkers. Coffee drinkers had a seven-percent to 12-percent lower risk of dying prematurely compared to non-drinkers. Remarkably, the researchers found that drinkers had "lower rates of digestive diseases and heart-related conditions, such as stroke.”
Both the American and European studies found no difference between study participants who drank caffeinated or decaf coffee. This would indicate that the health benefits don't lie with the caffeine but other components of coffee. While scientists aren’t yet certain what is providing the benefits of coffee, some researchers believe that that it could be related to the antioxidants found in coffee. (Coffee is made up of caffeine, antioxidants, and diterpenes.)
Other health benefits linked to coffee drinking:
Keep in mind that scientists point out that those with certain health issues, such as high blood pressure, should speak with their physician before consuming any coffee. Excessive caffeine can cause irregular heartbeat, agitation, and even digestive issues.
If you are otherwise healthy, you can drink up knowing that your morning cup is rather good for you!