How true - drinking coffee leads to longer life

March 26, 2020 3 min read

How true - drinking coffee leads to longer life

How many cups of coffee do you normally have in a day? 

Two? Three? Four? More?

If you’ve read one of our articles “Here’s how much caffeine you can have in a day,” you will know that the sweet spot is 400 mg a day. That’s equivalent to 4 cups of brewed coffee.

This is the ultimate good news for coffee-lovers, right?

But what if you go beyond four cups of joe a day? What exactly will happen?

 

Drinking coffee leads to a lower risk of mortality

Some people may think it would be taking it too far, since having too much coffee has been infamously known to cause adverse effects like palpitation, anxiety or migraine.

But coffee addicts may be pleased to know the findings from a 2018 study – having more than 8 cups a day can lead to a longer life.

Yes, you read that right.

According to the study “Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism,” drinking 8 cups (or more) of joe a day over a 10-year period was found to be “inversely associated with mortality.” [1]

In everyday language, it means that drinking coffee is linked to reduced likelihood of death – about 14% lower risk – making it a healthy part of your daily diet. [2]

 

What’s more interesting is the fact that the study also demonstrates the effectivity of decaf in reducing the risk of mortality. Since the study involved various types of coffee – from ground to instant all the way to decaffeinated – it shows that caffeine may not necessarily be the direct cause for the decreased risk of death, but other elements. 

According to the lead study author Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the involvement of decaf coffee in the study suggests that "many other compounds in coffee, besides caffeine, may be responsible." [3]

 Furthermore, various participants’ genetic makeup may have also impacted caffeine metabolism, and consequently, increase the risk for heart-related disease.

 

But should you drink 8 cups of joe to live a long life?

Researchers caution on interpreting the findings though. Just because results show up to 8 cups of coffee leads to less risk of death doesn’t mean you can binge on your coffee intake. This is only one of a few studies and more importantly, only 10,000 of the 50,000 people who participated in the study were reported to have had 8 cups of coffee or more in a day. 

Professor Edward Giovannucci from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health added that the study showed small variations from drinking 4 cups than 8. This means that based on findings, there’s only a minimal increase in mortality for people drinking 4 cups compared with those drinking 8 and more. Whether you drink 4 or 8 doesn’t matter much. [3]

So it’s better to stick to the 400mg recommended caffeine intake in a day, which is 4 or sometimes 5 cups of joe.

 

What other studies show 

Other studies seem to have similar results and conclusions.

A 2012 study demonstrates that older people (with ages 50-71) who drink more coffee than others were observed to have less likelihood of dying than others who had fewer cups, all within a 12-13 year period. [4]

Two or more studies also show similar results – all saying that coffee lovers have been found to enjoy a lower risk of mortality. [5, 6

And for coffee’s benefits in fighting certain illnesses, studies have found that those who regularly drink coffee have a lower risk of getting them. Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and certain liver diseases are just some that coffee can help you avoid. [7, 8, 9, 10]

 

Other benefits of coffee 

Coffee has heaps more other surprising benefits, which can range from happy disposition all the way to better sports performance. Here are some of them: 

For more information on the topic, here’s a video explaining how drinking coffee can help you reduce your risk of death.

 
 

 

Sources 

[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2686145

[2] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/coffee-longer-life/

[3] https://www.livescience.com/36359-coffee-drinkers-live-longer.html

[4] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18559841

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21298466

[7] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1468-1331.2002.00421.x/full

[8] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.10277/abstract

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008687

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16772246

 

Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin


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