Drinking three cups of coffee a day 'could help you live longer'

Alan Olson
July 12, 2017

While the research can not prove point blank that drinking in coffee will result in a longer life, the study shows a strong association.

Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London conducted the study using more than 185,000 Americans aged 45 to 75 over a 15 year period. Experts at the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 previous studies to conclude that people who drank one cup of coffee daily had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing the most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.

"We found that drinking more coffee was associated with a more favourable liver function profile and immune response", explained Dr. Marc Gunter, the study's lead author.

The second study included over 450,000 participants from European countries.

And heavy consumers of decaf or regular coffee - those who drink two to three cups each day - had an 18% reduced death toll from those illnesses.

One of the USC study's senior authors, V. Wendy Setiawan, an assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine, said coffee consumption may be linked a lower risk of early death for people with heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

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When it comes to coffee, black is best.

"Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention", Setiawan said.

Doctors say it's important to remember that caffeinated coffee is a stimulant, which can interfere with sleep and cause stomach trouble for some people. However, they noted that women who drank the most coffee had an increased risk of death from ovarian cancer. Professor of metabolic medicine from University of Glasgow, Naveed Sattar said that the link could be due to factors like lifestyle and not necessarily the coffee.

Until more is known, he, too, said the findings at least suggest coffee isn't detrimental to people's health.

The studies also found thousands of people of different races and people living in different countries experience the same health benefits from coffee. For example, people who drink more coffee tend to smoke more cigarettes, so that had to be taken into account. But if you don't have that sensitivity, the researchers say this proves that 3 to 5 cups a day can be part of a healthy diet. And a new study drawing on data from over half a million Europeans suggests that this penchant for a little pick-me-up could have a range of health benefits, by revealing an association between higher coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death from all causes. Similarly, women who drank the most coffee were about 7 per cent less likely to die during that time than women who didn't drink any.

All that the researchers did was look at several hundred thousand coffee drinkers, and non-coffee drinkers, over a period of 16 years, and record who died at which age from which cause.

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