Friday 23 February 2018

How four cups of coffee a day can help you live a longer life

Plant compounds found in coffee are good for health. Stock image
Plant compounds found in coffee are good for health. Stock image

Drinking four cups of coffee a day could slash the chances of an early death, a major Spanish study suggests.

Research on 20,000 middle-aged people found that those who drank coffee regularly had mortality rates almost two-thirds lower than non-drinkers.

Previous studies found that coffee can improve liver function, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. The study suggests that it could reduce the chance of early death from all causes by as much as two-thirds.

Two cups were associated with a 22pc drop in mortality – rising to 30pc among older patients in the study. Those drinking four cups had a 64pc lower death risk, compared with those who never or rarely consumed coffee.

The study was observational – so could not prove that plentiful amounts of coffee were the cause of the improved mortality.

But it echoed findings from US research, which suggested that three cups a day could significantly extend life.

Coffee contains a number of compounds, including caffeine, diterpenes and antioxidants, and scientists believe some of these have a protective impact on the body. Some studies have found similar benefits among those drinking decaffeinated versions – leading scientists to conclude that the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee may provide the most benefit.

The Spanish research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, involved 19,986 people who were tracked for an average of 10 years. Researchers from Hospital de Navarra then examined death rates, with 337 participants – around one in 60 – dying during the period. Those drinking coffee regularly had the lowest death rates, with the strongest links found among older participants.

Dr Adela Navarro, lead author, said she believed the antioxidants in coffee, which come in the form of polyphenols, caused the effect, adding: “I would advise drinking plenty of coffee. It could be good for your heart. I think it’s a good idea to have about four cups a day. I think it’s the polyphenols, they have an anti-inflammatory effect.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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