Drink Coffee, Live Longer

coffee boosts longevity

Posted: Aug. 28, 2018

Coffee is not a vice; new research proves your coffee habit boosts longevity.

If you run a coffee shop, here’s something to rejoice over: A new study finds that coffee boosts longevity! Even decaf drinkers see benefits.

“In our study, we found people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15% lower [risk of premature] mortality compared to people who didn't drink coffee," says one of the study authors, nutrition researcher Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health.

These recent findings come from study published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine. Nearly a half-million people in England, Scotland, and Wales were observed over the last decade, ages 38 to 73.

The evidence shows coffee has certain health benefits, including a possible longevity boost for daily coffee drinkers.

“We found that people who drank two to three cups per day had about a 12% lower risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers,” says Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Even more astonishing, this was found to be true for all coffee drinkers—even those drinking decaffeinated coffee or people who are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects.

For years, coffee has been considered a vice, and several unchecked rumors have floated about, such as coffee stunts growth. And worse, coffee causes early death.

How did coffee get its tarnished reputation?

The answer lies in the coffee-house culture of the ’80s, ‘90s, and 2000’s—when several studies on caffeine were underway. People who drank coffee were very likely to smoke cigarettes then and its effects threw researchers off; they believed coffee also had health risks. It wasn’t until researchers separated the two habits that the benefits of drinking coffee became visible.

"Smoking was the cause of the association," Gardner says. "Ever since they disentangled smoking, coffee wasn't just null, it was [shown to be] beneficial."

In the United States, more positive research has been linked to caffeine consumption: A daily coffee habit is linked to a decreased risk of stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

Most studies focus on the effects of caffeine in coffee, yet now with these recent findings, researchers are moved to investigate the coffee bean itself. Especially since decaf coffee drinkers saw a similar longevity boost to those drinking regular coffee.

"The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals," nutrition researcher Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health told NPR's The Salt in 2015. (He is the author of another study that finds a 15% lower risk of early death among people who consume coffee compared with those that don’t.)

Coffee’s main compounds include magnesium, lignans, and quinides, which can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. "My guess is that they're working together to have some of these benefits," Willett said.

More praise for coffee comes from Christopher Gardner, who oversees nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Gardner says, "Coffee, with its thousand chemicals, includes a number of polyphenol-like, antioxidant-rich compounds.”

Coffee was even included in the US Dietary Guidelines because there was so much evidence supporting its health benefits. In 2015, the experts behind the guidelines concluded that a daily coffee habit may help protect against Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Could the longevity boost be linked to the pleasure one gets from drinking coffee? Gardner believes so. "Think about when you're drinking coffee — aren't you stopping and relaxing a little bit?" Gardner asks. "I just love holding that hot beverage in my hand. It's the morning ritual.”

The same goes for your customers! Share the news with your coffee shop patrons with a discount code for buy two, get the third cup free in the name of good health.

Shorter lines and reliable inventory tracking—see how a Coffee Shop POS can make life easier.

 

Posted: Aug. 28, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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