Coffee is known to have many positive effects on health and mood. But one particularly good reason to drink coffee is that it will probably make you live longer. And slightly more so if you’re a woman.
A couple of years ago, the results of a huge study that was conducted on this exact question were published in the prestigious journal “The New England Journal of Medicine”. The researchers studied the association between coffee consumption and the risk of death in people of ages 50-71.
More than 400,000 individuals were polled about their coffee drinking habits and were then followed after for 12-13 years. The results were mind blowing. It turned out that having just one cup of coffee a day lowers the risk of death by 5%. Drinking 2-3 cups a day lowers the risk by 10% (13% for women), and 4-5 to 12% (16% for women). The benefits level out when drinking 6 or more cups a day (10%-15%).
The authors of the study note that if the results were assessed naively, one might have found coffee to increase the risk of death, however, it turns out that this is due to a correlation between drinking coffee and smoking – i.e. a lot of people who drink coffee also tend to smoke or vice a versa. Once you take that into consideration it becomes clear the coffee has a beneficial effect on longevity.
Additional studies confirmed these results in different sub-populations and showed protective benefits against specific conditions such as reduced risk for liver cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
When you consider that coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, combined it may be responsible for saving millions of person-years.