Two new studies that were just released completely validate our culture’s coffee obsession. Turns out, coffee doesn’t just bring you to life every day. The magical elixir may also help you live longer. In the past, unfiltered coffee (Turkish coffee, as well as coffee brewed by French press) has been associated with spikes in bad cholesterol levels, reduced fertility, insomnia, irritability, sped-up hearbeats and muscle tremors. Which might still be true, although all the positive press coming out on this drink we all love may tip the scales in a different direction once and for all.
Finally, we can agree that coffee has some serious benefits.
The largest study ever done on coffee and mortality was released July 11.
For that research, 520,000 people in 10 European countries were surveyed about their coffee habits and health. Across the board, regular doses of coffee correlated to a lowered risk of death. Opening up the scope of this research is the second study, which expanded its subjects to include a more robust representation of different nationalities. Also released on July 11, the study, “Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations” found that drinking between two and four cups of coffee every day corresponds with lower mortality rates for all races.
Armed with research that included surveys with 185,855 people of African American, Native American, Hawaiian, Japanese American, and European descent, researchers discovered coffee drinkers of all backgrounds enjoy an 18 percent lower risk of death from things like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory and kidney disease, and stroke.
What is the healing secret behind this magical elixir?
Living longer hasn’t got a thing to do with caffeine. In fact, you’re more likely to live longer even if you prefer your morning Joe decaf.
The secret may lie in coffee’s prevalent antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and improve blood-vessel health. Those qualities will help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
“Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” said Veronica Wendy Setiawan, senior author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle."
Good thing, since more than 62 percent of Americans drink the stuff every day.
“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” Setiawan said. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”