- More evidence suggests that drinking coffee can help reduce health risks and extend life.
- In a seven-year study, researchers found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from cancer and heart disease.
- People who drank slightly sweetened coffee also lived longer, so adding sugar may not be unhealthy.
Your daily coffee habits can help you live a longer, healthier life, even if you add sugar, according to a study recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, studied data on coffee habits and health over seven years from more than 171,000 UK residents who did not have cancer or heart disease at the start of the study.
Previously, evidence suggested that coffee drinkers live longer – researchers in China wanted to test whether this was true even when people added sugar to their daily drinks.
They found that people who drank unsweetened coffee regularly were 16-21% less likely to die during the study than their non-coffee peers.
According to the data, study participants who drank one to four cups of slightly sweetened coffee per day were 29-31% less likely to die during the study.
The researchers found that the results were less clear for participants who used artificial sweeteners, who had seen similar mixed results in previous research. Some experts and evidence say these products may be safe and healthy alternatives to sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic, while others raise concerns about possible links to cancer or metabolic health issues.
However, the evidence does not necessarily support that high-sugar coffee drinks are healthy, according to an accompanying editorial by Harvard University professor D. Christina Wei in the Southern Medical University study. Participants added about a teaspoon of sugar per cup, on average, which is far less than the amount of sweetener typically found in brewed or blended coffee drinks.
The results are backed by previous evidence that coffee is generally beneficial for longevity regardless of how it is drunk.
Coffee has evidence-based mental and physical health benefits, with few side effects in moderation
Coffee — and its main ingredient, caffeine — has been studied extensively, with a wealth of data indicating that it is not only safe in moderation, but also beneficial for your health.
Previous studies suggest that coffee drinkers live longer because they have a lower risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Caffeine can also increase mental focus and also boost brain health, especially as we age, and it appears to be linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. The drink is also linked to a lower risk of depression and suicide.
However, you can have a lot of caffeine. Doses of more than 400 milligrams of caffeine (more than four to five cups of coffee) can cause minor side effects such as anxiety, nervousness, rapid heartbeat and sweating, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In extreme cases, concentrated caffeine can cause serious problems, starting at around 1,200 milligrams, although it requires you to drink more than 12 cups of coffee. Serious and fatal overdose of caffeine have occurred with the equivalent of more than 50 cups of coffee in one concentrated dose of powdered caffeine.
But for the average coffee drinker, who has up to five cups of coffee spread throughout the day, the habit is unlikely to lead to any major side effects.
In addition to caffeine, coffee contains a variety of other compounds that can positively affect your health, including polyphenols, which research shows can reduce inflammation, improve gut bacteria, boost metabolism, and moderate blood sugar. .
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