Latest research this month suggests that decaf coffee extends your life by reducing your risk of death from heart disease, diabetes or even cancer.
The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study, based on stats from 700,000 participants of various racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which concluded that the more coffee a person drank, the lower his or her risk of early death – whether it was caffeinated or decaffeinated.
The National Cancer Institute, USC and the University of Hawaii examined coffee-drinking habits in 185,855 Americans over sixteen years. Compared with the 16% of people who didn’t drink coffee at all, those who consumed two or more cups each day were about 18% less likely to have died during the study period.
In addition, those who drank just one to six cups of coffee per week were 12% less likely to die. Both of these figures were calculated after taking into account known risk factors for early death, such as smoking (which is often paired with coffee drinking), diet and body mass index. Furthermore, they found no indication that the associations varied by race/ethnicity.
The study then compared coffee drinking with each of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.SA. The more coffee one drank, decaf or caffeinated, the less likely he or she was to die of heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease. The study also linked coffee drinking to improvements in the body’s liver function, sensitivity to insulin and inflammation.
It must be noted, however, that, coffee apparently had no effect on the risk of dying of influenza or pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease, accidents or suicide.
The second study mined data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study to see whether there was a link between coffee and early death among 521,330 people from 10 countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). These volunteers were tracked for an average of 16.4 years. The researchers (most of whom were from Europe) found that the top 25% of coffee drinkers in each nation were less likely to die during the study period than their countrymen who shunned coffee altogether.
The critical thing to consider if you are a decaffeinated coffee drinker is this:
Both studies found similar results for people who drank decaffeinated coffee as for people who drank the real thing!
Well, we’re not completely sure yet.
We do know that the polyphenols found in coffee act as antioxidants, helping cells cope with the damaging effects of molecules called free radicals. Genes related to caffeine metabolism also influence blood pressure and cholesterol.