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Coffee consumption linked with living longer



Starting off with the day with a hot, steaming cup of coffee can be what gets many people going in the morning.

Dr. Neal Freedman, of the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch of The National Cancer Institute in Maryland,@@http://dceg.cancer.gov/about/staff-bios/[email protected]@ found coffee may be linked with living longer, which may mean great news for coffee drinkers. Past studies have linked coffee with negative effects on the body, but in a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the data shows the opposite.

The study examined the correlation between drinking coffee and the mortality rate among 402,260 people. Initially, the results showed the mortality rate among coffee drinkers was higher than those who didn’t drink coffee. Looking closer at the data, researchers found that a higher number of the coffee-drinkers who died were more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, eat lots of red meat and not enough vegetables, and exercise less. Taking those factors out of the equations, researchers found better news for coffee drinkers.

According to the study, drinking two to three cups of coffee a day increased a man’s life by 10 percent and 13 percent for women. Drinking one cup of coffee only increased the chance of living longer by 5 percent for both men and women. People who drank six or more cups of coffee a day also showed an increase of living longer by 10 [email protected]@http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/16/[email protected]@

Although a correlation between living longer and drinking coffee exists, it’s unclear as to the effects of coffee.

“Coffee is a very complex mixture,” Freedman said. “It’s made of thousands of compounds.”

Most of the compounds have not yet been researched. Some of the compounds could be linked with negative effects like diabetes while others are linked with positive effects like reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Although there is evidence that points to coffee drinkers living longer, it’s not fully proven.

The study is based upon observation over a long period of time, Freedman said. Researchers don’t actually know if it’s the coffee itself that leads to living longer, or the behavior of the coffee drinkers.

Tyson Striley,@@http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/Tyson*[email protected]@ a University senior, drinks up to two 16-ounce coffees a day. He isn’t worried about the negative health effects that are associated with coffee.

“I figure coffee is still something from the earth, so that makes me feel less worried about it,” Striley said.

Although Striley does see the benefits of coffee, he doesn’t really believe the study.

The proven fact is that coffee has both negative and positive effects on the body. What these effects are still remain unclear.

“Should you drink more coffee?” Freedman said. “We don’t suggest it.”


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