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article imageDrinking coffee could reduce the risk of death from some diseases

By Karen Graham     Nov 17, 2015 in Science
People who drink regular or decaffeinated coffee in moderation have been found to live slightly longer than those who don't drink coffee, and more surprising, are less likely to die from a number of chronic diseases.
Researchers at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health analysed data from three long-term public health studies involving more than 200,000 women and 50,000 men, ages 25 to 75, that looked at the various food and drinks consumed on a daily basis.
The study looked at people who either don't drink coffee or drink less than two cups a day, and compared them to people who reportedly drank "moderate" amounts of coffee, or up to five cups a day. At first, any relationship between coffee consumption and death rates appeared to be murky, reports CNN News.
At first glance, the data showed that coffee drinkers consuming half a cup to three cups a day had a five to nine percent lower risk of dying than those who didn't drink coffee, but the majority of those drinking more than three cups a day did not see any benefits.
Smoking and coffee consumption
Researchers started looking at coffee consumption in people who never smoked, and the data began to make sense. According to the study, those non-smokers who drank from a half to three cups of coffee a day had a six to eight percent lower risk of dying than those who were non-coffee drinkers.
Non-smokers who drank from three to five or more cups of coffee daily had a 12 to 15 percent lower risk of dying than non-coffee drinkers. The research team said it was hard, at first, to see the link between coffee consumption and lower death rates because coffee and smoking often go hand-in-hand.
"In the whole study population, moderate coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, and suicide," says the report. The findings cover a broad range of chronic diseases, but they also point out how smoking will cancel out any benefit associated with moderate coffee consumption.
"Regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard. "However, certain populations such as pregnant women and children should be cautious about high caffeine intake from coffee or other beverages."
This informative study was published on November 16, 2015, in the journal Circulation, under the title: "Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts."
More about coffee drinkers, certain diseases, 3 to 5 cups a day, heart disease or cancer, Moderation
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