Does coffee make you live longer? Coffee health benefits and risks
Numerous studies have looked at the coffee benefits and side effects. Some have described coffee as an elixir of life, others have highlighted the risks. The effects vary from individual to individual. To remove all doubt about coffee benefits and risks, further study is needed.
Drinking coffee makes you live longer. Is it true?
Aromatic, warm and creamy. A characteristic Italian pleasure that perks you up and enhances the mood. According to a series of studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, coffee is allegedly a life-enhancing drink which protects against heart disease, liver cancer and diabetes. Drinking a single coffee a day, whether regular or decaffeinated, can make you 12% less likely to die; three or four cups a day can increase this to 18%.
Can coffee help you live longer? Is coffee healthy?
Read on to find out more about recent conclusions regarding coffee and health.
3 coffees a day keep the doctor away
A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and by Imperial College London, comprising 520,000 people in ten different European countries, concluded that people who drink three coffees a day are less at risk of heart disease and of the digestive system. This is because of the polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, diterpenes and melanoidins that coffee contains.
More coffee, less diabetes
Coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%. Around twenty different studies, conducted since 2002 on a total sample of 500,000 people, have come to the same conclusion – drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day shields from hyperglycaemia, regulates the consumption of glucose and normalizes insulin production.
WHO: coffee does not cause cancer
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that there is no link between coffee and the risk of cancer. Quite the opposite – regularly drinking coffee is believed to help reduce the risk of liver and uterine cancer.
A helping hand in protecting women from strokes and depression
A cohort study, carried out in Japan and published by the American Heart Association, revealed that coffee reduces the risk of strokes in women by 25%. The news is equally encouraging for depression: women who drink coffee are 15% less likely to develop mood disorders.
Coffee is good for the memory and the heart
According to studies published in Nature and in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, caffeine is a miracle cure for long-term memory, due to its ability to inhibit the clumping together of amyloid protein pieces in the brain; this is known as a causal factor of Alzheimer’s disease. Three cups a day can allegedly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease by 20% and slow down the illness in patients with a mild form of the disease; thanks to the polyphenols it contains, coffee also combats the inflammation associated with ageing that can increase the likelihood of heart disease.
Anti-flop in the bedroom
Coffee acts as a natural Viagra, thwarting impotence. Men who drink coffee, said a 2015 study – published by the Public Library of Science – have 42% less risk of erectile dysfunction and women an increase in libido, thanks to the increased blood flow to the sexual organs.
When should you not drink coffee?
Too much coffee can have adverse effects, especially on those with problems of osteoporosis, anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure.
Coffee keeping you up all night
People with insomnia should try to make sure their last coffee of the day is no later than 2pm. What if it’s not? Better to drink decaffeinated.
No more than 3 cups a day during pregnancy
Drinking more than three cups a day can alter blood flow to the placenta and, in the worst cases, can slow foetal growth and increase the risk of abortion. WHO recommends no more than 300mg coffee a day during pregnancy.
Does too much coffee make you anxious?
Coffee reduces levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a primary neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates stress hormones. Anyone experiencing a period of stress or state of anxiety should try to limit coffee consumption.
Coffee and gastroesophageal reflux
Coffee, tea, coca cola and energy drinks can cause painful heartburn and reflux in people already suffering from gastritis, duodenal ulcer or irritable bowel syndrome.
Bone structure: the drinks to avoid
Too much coffee can interfere with the assimilation of calcium and vitamin D, increasing the risk of fractures, especially in post-menopausal women and elderly people with osteoporosis.
How much coffee is too much coffee? What the experts say
Experts recommend that healthy people drink coffee with no adverse affects. The safest amount is five cups a day, if there are no underlying heart problems, weak bones, insomnia or gastritis, or during pregnancy; under this limit, coffee benefits for health far outweigh the risks.