Coffee could help you live longer, new study finds
Drinking three cups of ground coffee a day, but not instant, reduces a person’s risk of death, according to a new study.
Almost half a million Britons enrolled in the UK Biobank study were divided by their coffee intake: those who drank none, up to three cups, and more than three cups a day.
The benefits were also found for those drinking decaffeinated coffee.
The study revealed that moderate coffee drinkers, up to three cups a day, were 12 per cent less likely to die over the study’s 11-year period.
They were also 17 and 21 per cent less likely to die of heart disease or stroke, respectively, according to the study from the Semmelweis University in Budapest and Queen Mary University of London.
Over the study period, 3.4 per cent of moderate drinkers died, compared to 3.7 per cent of coffee abstainers and four per cent of those drinking higher amounts of caffeine.
Among the coffee drinkers, a fifth preferred decaffeinated, a quarter drank ground beans and more than half opted for instant coffee.
Dr Pal Maurovich-Horvat, the director of the medical imaging centre at the Semmelweis University and one of the study’s co-authors, said: “Using MRI scans we were able to analyse the effect of regular coffee intake on the structure and function of the heart.
“We found that regular light-to-moderate coffee consumption is beneficial for the health of the heart, with the suggestion that it can slow down age-related cardiac changes.”
The health benefits of coffee, however, applied only to ground beans and were not seen amongst instant coffee drinkers.
“While ground coffee was associated with decreased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, we did not find a statistically significant association between regular instant coffee consumption and health outcomes,” the scientists wrote in their study.
“The difference among the various coffee types may be explained by the differences in their production process, as they contain different chemicals.”
However, while moderate consumption of ground coffee was found to be beneficial, more than three cups a day was linked to poorer health outcomes.
The study added to a tranche of papers that have investigated the health impact of coffee, with fierce debate erupting over whether it is good or bad. This paper adds significant weight to the argument that the popular drink is, in fact, beneficial.