Coffee in the News |

Guess What? Coffee Drinkers Live Longer (and Caffeine Has Nothing to Do With It)

If you love coffee, this is going to make you happy.

Most people are familiar with the health benefits associated with tea, but did you know that coffee has more antioxidants than green tea, and even has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries? In fact, it turns out that coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the North American diet.

Given this information, it starts to make sense that coffee drinkers live longer. According to this study in the New England Journal of Medicine, coffee consumption is associated with a significant reduction in mortality risk. Men who drank four to five cups of coffee on a daily basis had a 12% lower risk, while women had a 16% lower risk. These are noteworthy numbers; but what’s even more exciting is that reduced mortality effects were demonstrated in both regular and decaf coffee. Too often people assume it’s the caffeine in coffee that gives it its health boost, but that is not the case.

Specialty coffee, or any good quality coffee for that matter, is rich in a type of polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, which has similar health and cognition benefits to bioflavonoids. Coffee also contains some nutrients, including potassium, niacin, vitamin E and magnesium.

Not yet convinced? Here are some other coffee health studies that have made headlines:

• A 2009 study published in Archives of Internal Medicine showed that high intake of coffee — with and without caffeine — is associated with lower risk of diabetes. A relationship was found between coffee consumption and diabetes that suggests each additional cup of coffee consumed in a day is associated with a 7% reduction in diabetes risk.

• A 2011 Swedish study found that drinking coffee may help curb the risk of developing a certain type of breast cancer. In studying postmenopausal women with breast cancer, and women of the same age without cancer, they found those who drank five or more cups a day showed a 0.43 times lower risk of estrogen-receptor negative cancers.

• A very large 2012 study  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that intakes of coffee (with and without caffeine) lowered the risk of developing colon cancer.

Numerous reports, including Harvard’s extensive Nurse’s Health Study, indicate that coffee can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 25%.

So go ahead and pour some of your favorite coffee, and raise your cup to your health and longevity.

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