Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Drinking coffee "extends life" study says

Coffee drinkers may be rejoicing after newly released research suggested the popular beverage may extend life. The research suggests that drinking coffee, even in large amounts, might help you live longer. Coffee drinkers in the study had slightly lower death rates than non-coffee drinkers over time, whether their drink of choice had caffeine or not. However, the findings do not prove that coffee is protective, but they strongly suggest that drinking coffee in large amounts is not harmful if you are healthy, researcher Esther Lopez-Garcia, Ph.D., of the University of Madrid, told WebMD.Among women, drinking two to three cups of coffee a day was associated with an 18 percent reduction in death from all causes, while drinking four to five cups was associated with a 26 percent reduction in risk. The risk reduction in men was smaller and could have been due to chance.
"We can't say from this one study that coffee extends your life, but it does appear that it doesn't increase the risk for death for people who are healthy," she said.There have been several studies on the health benefits for coffee with some linking regular consumption to a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even health conditions like Parkinson's disease and colon cancer. But there are others who suggest drinking caffeinated coffee increased risk for heart attack and stroke in people who already have heart disease. The American Heart Association says much of the evidence is conflicting. Coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver and gout, but increases the risk of acid reflux and associated diseases. Other studies have linked the drinking of coffee with higher cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, though these risks are more associated with the caffeine content [Coffee and health / CBS].

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