Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity

Today's latest study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, says drinking coffee will help extend your life span. The mean age of the participants was 57 years (range, 38-73 years); 271 019 (54%) were female, and 387 494 (78%) were coffee drinkers. The results suggested that people who drank two to five cups of coffee in a day were about 12% less likely to die than non-coffee-drinkers over the 10-year time period in the study.

In other words while coffee drinking has some benefits especially in dealing with non-communicable diseases, your genes decide how well you metabolise caffeine.

We're not saying you should drink a giant cup of scalding coffee after a workout instead of water or gatorade, but you can't put all the dehydration blame on your morning grande latte.

Last year, researchers in Spain also reported that people who drank at least four cups of coffee a day had a 64 percent lower risk of death than those who never or nearly never drank coffee.

Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups a day. Those who drank decaffeinated coffee too were similarly protected the study noted.

Moderate coffee consumption has always been inversely associated with mortality but the earlier "red line" was three to four cups of coffee per day.

This adds to a significant body of research indicating that coffee is connected to a long list of health benefits. And when all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolisers had a longevity boost. While the study represents an median view of coffee drinking habits, it is encouraging reading for lovers of the toasted bean.

The study covered almost half a million people.

"Further research is needed to better understand the potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations of coffee with various health outcomes", Dr. Loftfield acknowledged.

Past studies have indicated an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's and cancers of the liver, bowel, colon and endometrium. The speed at which a person metabolised caffeine didn't seem to affect longevity, despite prior research that suggested coffee consumption might be related to increased risks of increased risks of high blood pressure and heart attack among people who metabolise caffeine slowly.

Of course there has also been evidence to suggest that coffee could be bad for you.

You may have heard about the plant compounds called phytochemicals in coffee; such basic elements remain whether coffee is caffeinated or not, and whether you use a $5,000 espresso machine or you pour some hot water onto some powder.