Study finds lower risk of premature death among coffee drinkers

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A study reported online on November 16, 2015 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation determined that, in comparison with not drinking coffee, consuming one to five cups per day was associated with a lower risk of dying over a period of up to 30 years.

The investigation included 40,557 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study; 74,890 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study, and 93,054 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study 2. Dietary questionnaires completed every four years provided information concerning type (regular or decaffeinated) and frequency of coffee consumed.

Over up to 30 years of follow-up, 31,956 deaths occurred. Compared to the intake of no coffee, drinking 1.1 to 3 cups per day was associated with an adjusted 9% lower risk of death and 3.1 to 5 cups per day was associated with a 7% lower risk of dying over follow-up. Similar results were found for regular and decaffeinated coffee. Among those who had never smoked, the adjusted risk of death over follow-up was 15% lower for those who consumed 3 to 5 cups coffee compared to non-coffee drinkers. When cause of death was examined, drinking coffee was significantly protective against coronary heart disease, neurologic disease and suicide.

"Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation," observed first author Ming Ding, who is a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. "That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects."

"This study provides further evidence that moderate consumption of coffee may confer health benefits in terms of reducing premature death due to several diseases," stated senior author Frank Hu, who is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. "These data support the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Report that concluded that 'moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern."

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Meta-analysis associates moderate coffee drinking with lower risk of dying over up to two decades
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The results of a dose-response meta-analysis published online on August 24, 2014 in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicate an association between increased coffee consumption and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any cause over up to 23 years of follow-up.

"Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages around the world," write Alessio Crippa and colleagues in their introduction. "Because of its popularity, even small health effects could have important public health consequences."

Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet selected 21 prospective studies that included a total of 997,464 participants for their analysis. Over the studies' follow-up periods, which ranged from 7.1 to 23 years, 121,915 deaths occurred.

In comparison with subjects who reported no coffee consumption, the greatest reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality over follow-up was found among those who consumed four cups coffee per day. For cardiovascular disease mortality, three cups per day conferred the greatest amount of protection. No effect for coffee on cancer mortality was observed.

The authors remark that coffee's phenolic compounds make the beverage a significant source of antioxidants that provide potential health benefits. They observe that studies have documented protective effects for coffee intake against the risk of Parkinson's disease, gallstones, suicide, and elevations in markers of inflammation related to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

"Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that coffee consumption is inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality," they conclude. The results suggest that only moderate levels of coffee drinking may be needed to provide the greatest amount of protection against premature mortality.

Life Extension Clinical Research Update
Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Cognition, Mood, and Fatigue (CL078)
South Florida Location

Life Extension is sponsoring a study to assess the effects of nutritional supplements in support of cognition, mood and fatigue in individuals with memory complaints, an altered mood and/or feelings of fatigue within the past six months.

If you or someone you know is:

  • Between 40-70 years of age
  • Normal weight to overweight (BMI 18.5–29.9)
  • In good health
  • Experiencing memory complaints, an altered mood, and/or feelings of fatigue (within the past six months)
  • Currently drinking no more than one cup of coffee a day
  • Able to comply with all study procedures and visits
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Health Concern

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system resulting from depletion of dopamine-producing cells in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra. A variety of genetic and environmental factors underlie this loss of brain cells. However, emergent research implicates oxidative stress, inflammation, and dysfunctional mitochondria as major contributors to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

Coffee contains a multitude of pharmacologically active compounds, some of which have been shown to suppress oxidative stress and protect against diabetes, cancer, cognitive decline, and so on (Butt 2011). Additionally, several epidemiological studies have found that those who consume large amounts of coffee are much less likely to develop Parkinson's disease (Hu 2007; Saaksjarvi 2008; Tan 2003).

Coffee constituents (compounds) protect brain cells which can be extremely beneficial for Parkinson's disease patients. Coffee extracts have been shown to inhibit MAO-A and -B enzymes, a mechanism similar to that of some pharmaceutical Parkinson's therapies (Herraiz 2006). Experimental models suggest that coffee constituents promote neuronal development and increase antioxidant defense systems in the brain (Abreu 2011; Tohda 1999).

Green coffee extract contains more of the active antioxidant compounds than brewed coffee, and may be a promising option for Parkinson's disease patients (Farah 2008). However, clinical trials have yet to confirm this potential benefit.

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