May 31, 2022 – Coffee lovers rejoice. Your morning ritual could lead to a longer life, and a spoonful of sugar could sweeten the deal, according to a recent study.
Of the more than 170,000 people in the UK, those who drank about two to four cups of coffee a day, with or without sugar, had a lower death rate than those who didn’t drink coffee, according to lead author Dan Liu, MD. , from the School of Public Health of Southern Medical University in Guangdong, China.
“Previous observational studies suggested an association between coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death, but did not differentiate between coffee consumed with sugar or artificial sweeteners and coffee consumed without,” Liu and colleagues wrote in the journal. Annals of internal medicine.
To find out more, investigators turned to the UK Biobank, which recruited about half a million people between 2006 and 2010 to participate in questionnaires, interviews, physical measurements and medical tests.
Of this group, 171,616 completed at least one dietary questionnaire and met the criteria for the coffee study.
The results showed that 55.4% of them drank coffee without sweeteners, 14.3% coffee with sugar, 6.1% coffee with artificial sweeteners, and 24.2% no coffee at all. Coffee drinkers were categorized into groups based on the number of cups of coffee they drank per day.
Coffee drinkers died significantly more often
Over the course of about 7 years, 3,177 of those studied died, including 1,725 from cancer and 628 from heart disease.
After accounting for other things that may influence the risk of death, such as lifestyle choices, the researchers found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from any cause, heart disease or cancer than those who didn’t drink coffee at all.
This advantage was evident in all types of coffee, including ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee. The protective effects of coffee were greater in people who drank about two to four cups per day, and they had an approximately 30% lower risk of death, regardless of whether they added sugar to their coffee.
People who drank coffee with artificial sweeteners didn’t live much longer than those who didn’t drink coffee at all.
Experts urge caution despite new findings
Although the study results suggest that adding sugar does not negate the health benefits of coffee, Liu and colleagues caution against sweetened beverages because of the well-established links between sugar consumption and poor health.
Estefanía Toledo, who has a doctorate from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra in Spain, made a similar snack.
Toledo, which previously published a study linking coffee to longer survival, says moderate coffee consumption “frequently” is linked to lower rates of “multiple chronic diseases” and death, but there is still insufficient evidence to recommend coffee for those who haven’t. Already. drink it.
She says more long-term research is needed, ideally with studies comparing changes in coffee consumption and health outcomes over time.