Did that get your attention? It was meant to. These are the types of headlines we see quite often when it comes to some of our favorite things, like coffee, chocolate, and wine. One day they are bad for us, and the next they are considered the fountain of youth. But does drinking a lot of coffee really make you live longer? Read on to find out what's behind this claim
Drinking a lot of coffee can make you a long-lived person
Why the controversy? Well, that's usually because these headlines don't tell the full story, and the studies are often misinterpreted by the media.
So today we're going to take an objective look at everyone's beloved morning drink, coffee, with some fresh eyes and a perfectly brewed cup.
Coffee grows on small trees native to tropical Africa, originating in Ethiopia. Today, coffee is one of the most valuable products and is produced on all continents with Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia and Ethiopia as the top 5 exporters.
Like good wine, the flavor and distinctive flavor of coffee vary by region.
In terms of consumption, it is surprising to find that Nordic countries such as Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark are among the biggest coffee drinkers with up to 12 kg of coffee per person per year, compared to 6.5 kg in Canada and only 4.2 kg in the U.S.
Fun facts about coffee
Did you know that coffee leaves can also be consumed in the form of tea? They have a subtle taste and caffeine, as well as exotic antioxidants. Coffee leaf tea has been traditionally consumed in Ethiopia for more than 200 years. It is harvested in the off-season, helping to create year-round jobs for coffee growers.
Caffeine acts as a natural protector for the coffee plant by helping the leaves stay pest-free by avoiding insects. Coffee can also be used to keep your garden pest free.
Health benefits of coffee according to science
Since the Western diet lacks the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, coffee can be considered the largest source of antioxidants in our daily diet.
We know that antioxidants protect us from free radical damage, but what are other benefits of your morning cup of coffee?
Reduces the risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
One of the most studied and endorsed benefits of coffee is when it comes to our memory.
Many studies and reviews have shown that caffeine has a protective effect, and coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Reduces the risk of Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease is a disease that affects the central nervous system and more specifically our motor system responsible for movement.
After Alzheimer's, it is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. While we don't know the exact cause of Parkinson's disease, we do know that there are genetic components.
Studies have shown that those who drink coffee have up to a 60% lower risk of developing Parkinson's. This only seems to apply to those who drink regular and non-decaf coffee.
Helps protect against type 2 diabetes
A systemic review and meta-analysis that reviewed more than 18 studies and 457,922 participants showed that those who drank coffee had a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Every 1 cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That doesn't necessarily mean more coffee is better for you, but more on that later.
Improves exercise performance
This makes sense since one of our main reasons for drinking coffee is to increase our energy levels.
Caffeine stimulates our brain and nervous system, increases adrenaline production and improves exercise performance by up to 12.3%.
In some it reduces the risk of heart disease
This one is a bit tricky as low to moderate coffee consumption (1-3 cups) seems to offer a protective effect especially for women.
However, a subset of people who have a genetic variation (slow CYP1A2 * 1F allele) have a much higher risk of non-fatal heart attacks because they cannot metabolize caffeine well.
More than 1 cup of coffee a day for those with the genetic variation resulted in a 36% higher risk, and more than 4 cups increased the risk by 64%.
Coffee for longevity
There are several studies that associate coffee consumption with a longer lifespan and / or a reduced risk of premature death from all causes.
The most recent cohort study of half a million people published in ound that people who drank 1 to 8 or more cups of coffee a day lived longer than those who did not drink coffee.
What's surprising about this most recent study is that not only did it find similar results for instant, ground, and decaffeinated coffee, it also accounted for genetic variations, and the benefits occurred independently.
This tells us that there may be more merits in coffee than just caffeine.
So what's the sweet spot when it comes to coffee and longevity? Well, according to this study, it was 6 to 7 cups a day which offered a 16% reduction in the risk of premature death.
A similar study published in the New England Journal of Medicine had similar results, but their coffee “sweet spot” was around 4-5 cups.
This amount showed a 12% and 16% risk reduction of premature death in men and women respectively.
If you think 6-7 or 4-5 cups sounds like a lot, you're right. We will discuss more about that below.
Some people will check their blood sugar daily or multiple times a day, sometimes using a continuous monitor that is worn on the body particularly those who have type 1 diabetes or who have type 2 but take insulin. Yet how frequently a person should monitor their blood sugar is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to whether they’re on insulin, whether they're taking oral medication, and how well their blood sugar is controlled and how old they are. Gluconite