If you’re a coffee drinker and you feel guilty about your “bad habit” stop. Because I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your daily jolt of java could literally help you live longer.
Scientists are still working out why caffeinated coffee has such a positive impact on our health. But a new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, may have just solved a huge piece of the puzzle.
More on that exciting new research in just a moment. But first let’s take a quick look at a few of the ways that coffee could help you live longer.
More than five million American’s are currently living with Alzheimer’s. It’s a devastating disease that destroys nerve connections in your brain. And most folks are surprised to learn that it’s deadly. Alzheimer’s is, in fact, the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for folks 65 and older.1
But according to a growing stack of research coffee could help you avoid this killer. For example, in a large study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease middle aged men and women who downed three to five cups of coffee a day were found to be a stunning 65 percent less likely to develop the disease.2
In 2012 a team of researchers from the University of Florida and the University of Miami announced that three cups of your favorite morning beverage a day could significantly slow down mild cognitive decline (MCI), delaying its progression to full blown Alzheimer’s. According to study co-author Dr. Gary Arendash 100 percent of the folks with MCI remained Alzheimer’s free during the two to four year follow up period.3
Research at Johns Hopkins University revealed that caffeine can enhance our ability to store long term memories.4 And a study published in The Journals of Gerontology found that women who consumed over 261 milligrams or more of caffeine a day were 36 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia than ladies who consumed less than 64 milligrams.5
If you aren’t already battling your own blood sugar problems, chances are you know someone who is. After all, over 29 million folks in the United States already have diabetes and experts say another 86 million of us are pre-diabetic and headed in that direction.6,7 It’s a true epidemic.
Obviously the best thing you can do to lower your risk for diabetes is to make some changes to how you eat (we recommend trying a low carb diet) and to get some daily exercise. But it turns out there’s another way you can slash your risk for blood sugar issues. Study after study has uncovered a link between drinking coffee and a significantly lower risk for diabetes.
For example, four or more cups of java a day could slash your risk of diabetes by an incredible 50 percent or more, according to research published in the journal Diabetes Care.8 And true coffee fanatics might find it comforting to know that the researchers also found that for every additional cup of coffee downed your risk could drop an additional 7 percent.
Coffee’s ability to drive down diabetes risk was confirmed in a decade long study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found once again that coffee drinkers are about half as likely as non-drinkers to develop the disease.9
A study published just last year had us adding colon cancer to the growing list of deadly diseases that coffee can help fight. The study of over 9,000 adults revealed that drinking coffee is linked to a reduced risk of the nasty disease.
And we’re not talking about a small drop in risk either. The more you drink the further the risk plummets. If you drink two and a half cups a day your risk could drop by 50 percent, according to the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.10
Coffee drinkers live longer
A recent study found that folks who drink one to five cups of coffee a day have less chance of dying from any cause than non-drinkers.11 And now researchers say they may know why.
It turns out coffee’s link to a longer lifespan is likely due to its ability to fight inflammation.12 The process is somewhat complicated, but it appears that caffeine counteracts the cell-damaging effects of nucleic acid metabolites
So the bottom line is if you’re a coffee drinker feel free to embrace your habit. It could literally be helping you stay healthy and live longer.
1. 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org, Accessed 1/20/17
2. “Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: a population-based CAIDE study,” J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;16(1):85-91
3. “High Blood Caffeine Levels in MCI Linked to Lack of Progression to Dementia,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 30 (2012) 559–572
4. “Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans,” Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014)
5. “Relationships Between Caffeine Intake and Risk for Probable Dementia or Global Cognitive Impairment: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study,” J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2016)
6. “2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, Accessed 1/20/17
7. “Diabetes Latest,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, Accessed 1/20/17
8. “Coffee, Caffeine, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes,” Diabetes Care, 2006 Feb; 29(2): 398-403
9. “The evaluation of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers on coffee–diabetes association: results from the 10-year follow-up of the ATTICA Study (2002–2012),” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 69, 1220-1225, November 2015
10. “Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer,” April 2016, Volume 25, Issue 4
11. “Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts,” Circulation. 2015
12. “Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states,” Nature Medicine, 2017
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