For a long time, coffee has not been considered healthy, but in recent years this assumption has increasingly turned out to be a mistake: some studies have already suggested that coffee can even have pronounced beneficial effects on health. In addition to the stimulant caffeine could be responsible for some other substances in the coffee - for example, antioxidants. However, the previous studies left questions open and needed further review. These now provide two large studies that have statistically analyzed the relationship between coffee consumption and risk of death. One included over half a million people in ten European countries. The other examined the association among 185, 000 Americans of different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.
The European study used data from people aged 35 and over whose coffee consumption and other lifestyle and health parameters had been collected by questionnaires and interviews 16 years ago. Now, researchers at Marc Gunter's International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon have linked this information to interim deaths. In the 16 years around 42, 000 study participants had died due to a number of reasons such as cancer, circulatory disease, heart failure and stroke.
Reduced risk of death
After careful statistical adjustments to lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking, the researchers indicated that the group with the highest consumption of coffee had a lower risk of all reported causes of death than those who did not drink coffee. Decaffeinated coffee had a similar effect as normal coffee, the researchers report. Therefore, it does not seem to be the reason for the stimulant ingredient caffeine.
In a subset of 14, 000 people, the researchers also analyzed biomarkers of metabolism related to coffee consumption. "We found that drinking coffee is associated with favorable liver function and immune response, " says Gunter. In addition, there was a positive effect on the control of blood sugar levels. The study from the US came to comparable results and also documented that people with different cultural and genetic backgrounds can benefit equally from coffee enjoyment. display
Elio Riboli, co-author of the European study, concludes: "The results further substantiate that drinking coffee is not only harmless but can actually have a protective effect on health". His colleague Gunter emphasizes, however: "Because of the limitations of the data, we can not yet make specific recommendations on how much coffee you should drink. In other words, our results suggest that moderate coffee enjoyment - about three cups a day - brings health benefits. "So far, there are no limits on where upper limits could be. In addition, another important aspect needs to be clarified: Which of the substances in coffee are responsible for the protective effect?
- Annals of Internal Medicine