Coffee is the world’s most popular beverages. A large population study drawing on data from over half a million Europeans suggests that coffee could have a range of health benefits, by revealing an association between higher coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death from all causes.
The research was carried out by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London, who analyzed cancer and nutrition data from more than 500,000 Europeans over the age of 35. These subjects hailed from 10 different European countries, each with their distinctive styles of coffee consumption, such as the espresso sippers of Italy and the cappuccino-lovers of the UK.
This in itself revealed a few interesting insights. The people of Denmark, it was found, boast the highest level of coffee consumption by volume, at 900 mL (30 oz) per person per day, while the Italians consumed the least at around 92 mL (3.04 oz). The more coffee people drank, the more likely they were to be smokers, drinkers, meat-eaters, younger and not huge fans of fruit and vegetables.
Following up with the same participants 16 years later, the study found that 42,000 deaths had occurred from causes including cancer, circulatory diseases, heart failure and stroke. Adjusting for factors such as diet and smoking, the data shows that subjects in the highest quartile of coffee consumption had significantly lower mortality rates than those consumed the lowest amount.
In addition, the study found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases. These results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Further mechanistic analysis revealed that coffee drinkers may have healthier livers and better glucose control, something the researchers uncovered by analyzing metabolic biomarkers in a subset of 14,000 people. In general the study suggested that moderate coffee drinking – up to around three cups per day – may be good to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.
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Journal Reference: Marc J. Gunter, PhD et al.Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries: A Multinational Cohort Study,Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15;167(4):236-247. doi: 10.7326/M16-2945. Epub 2017 Jul 11.
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