How many cups of coffee a day should you drink if you want to live longer?
Twenty years ago, doctors told their clients who wanted to be healthy not to drink coffee. A food with as much caffeine as coffee could not be healthy was the rationale behind this advice. This notion has since been deprecated. Studies have linked coffee consumption to a reduction in the risk of many diseases and types of death. But which coffee intake has the optimal effect on health?
Australian cardiologists analyzed data from 449,563 Britons aged 40-69, who had been followed for about 12 years. The researchers looked at the effect of their coffee consumption on cardiovascular disease and mortality. When the study began, the participants had answered questions about their coffee consumption and other facets of their lifestyle.
The Australians made a distinction between fresh coffee made from ground coffee beans, [Ground] coffee without caffeine [Decaffeinated] and instant coffee [Instant]. A relatively small intake of caffeine-free coffee was associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular death, probably due to an increase in the risk of arrhythmias. Despite this, coffee consumption was associated with a decrease in mortality from cardiovascular causes and mortality in general.
The positive health effect of coffee was optimal with 2-3 cups of coffee per day.
"In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause", says study leader Peter Kistler of Australia's Monash University in a press release. [EurekAlert 26-Sep-2022]
"Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival."
"Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart healthy behaviour."
Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2022 Sep 27;zwac189. doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwac189. Online ahead of print.
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