- A growing body of evidence suggests that drinking coffee can help reduce health risks and prolong your life.
- Researchers found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from cancer and heart disease in a seven-year study.
- People who drank lightly sweetened coffee also lived longer, so adding sugar may not be unhealthy.
According to a study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, your daily coffee consumption can help you live a longer and healthier life, even if you add sugar to it.
Researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, looked at data on coffee drinking habits and the health of more than 171,000 UK residents, who were cancer and cancer free.
at the start of the study, over a period of seven years.
Previously, evidence suggested that coffee drinkers lived longer – researchers in China aimed to test whether this was true even when people added sugar to their daily brew.
They found that people who regularly drank unsweetened coffee were 16-21% less likely to die during the study than their peers who did not drink coffee.
And study participants who drank between one and four cups of lightly sweetened coffee a day were 29 to 31 percent less likely to die during the study, the data shows.
The results were less clear, the researchers found, for participants who used artificial sweeteners, who saw similarly mixed results in previous research. Some experts and evidence claim that these products may be a safe and healthy swap for sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic, while others raise concerns about possible associations with cancer or metabolic health issues.
However, the evidence doesn’t necessarily support high-sweetened coffee drinks as healthy, according to an op-ed by Harvard professor Dr. Christina Wee on 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 prepared or blended coffee drinks.
The results are supported by previous evidence that coffee is generally beneficial for longevity, regardless of how you drink it.
Coffee has proven mental and physical health benefits, with few side effects in moderation
Coffee – and its main ingredient, caffeine – has been widely studied, with a wealth of data suggesting that it’s not only safe in moderation, but good for your health.
Previous studies suggest that coffee drinkers live longer because they have a lower risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer and
Caffeine may also increase mental focus and benefit brain health, especially as we age, and appears to be linked to a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Drinking is also linked to a lower risk of depression and suicide.
However, you can have too much caffeine. Doses of more than 400 milligrams of caffeine (more than about four to five cups of coffee) can cause minor side effects such as anxiety, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, and sweating, according to the Mayo Clinic. .
And in extreme cases, concentrated caffeine can cause serious problems starting at around 1,200 milligrams, although you need to drink more than 12 cups of coffee for this to happen. Serious and fatal caffeine overdoses have occurred from the equivalent of more than 50 cups of coffee in a single concentrated dose of caffeine powder.
But for the average coffee drinker, having up to five cups of coffee spread throughout the day, this habit is unlikely to cause major side effects.
Beyond caffeine, coffee contains a host of other compounds that could positively influence your health, including polyphenols, which research shows can reduce inflammation, improve gut bacteria, boost metabolism and moderate blood sugar.