Scientists from the Center for Biomedical Research in Network for Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN) have found greater longevity associated with coffee consumption after studying 20,000 volunteers, all of them university graduates from all over Spain, for an average of ten years.
The research found that, consuming coffee habitually is significantly associated with lower mortality. The effect was observed in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee; both soluble and machine.
According to the study data, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protection was strongest in people 55 years of age and older and showed a clear dose-response trend in the range of 1 to 6 cups a day.
Adela Navarro, cardiologist of the Navarra Health System and author of the study, states that it was already known that supposed risks of high blood pressure did not exist in the long term. “Now we find clear benefits on risk of mortality from all causes. This supports the benefits of its consumption.”
Estefanía Toledo, professor at the University of Navarra and director of the work, states that the results point in the same direction as those of other more recent cohorts and that have used rigorous methods to assess the effect of coffee, such as the EPIC study or the EUREYE –Spain.
But a novel aspect of the new research is that the benefits were maintained even with consumption of 4-6 cups of coffee per day and were especially present in the elderly, where mortality is mainly caused by chronic diseases.
More coffee, lower mortality?
The better the possible alternative explanations for causality were controlled, the clearer the inverse association remained: more coffee, lower total mortality.
According to the authors, “there is no risk that the study will be affected by the problem of sick ex-consumers, that is, those who would leave coffee because they have another illness“.
For the experts, the benefits could not be explained by a single component, since coffee “is a complex mixture of substances; and among those, many have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it seems logical to think that they act in synergy.”
“When we advocate a healthy diet or habits, we seem to be taking away from people everything they like. There are many people who love coffee. These data are solid and are already known for sure,” concludes Miguel A. Martínez-González, another of the authors.