Three to five cups of coffee a day may lower the risk of dying prematurely from some illnesses than those who do not drink or drink less coffee, new research suggests.
The researchers from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, Type 2 diabetes and suicide.
“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said first author and doctoral student Ming Ding.
Researchers analysed health data gathered from participants in three large ongoing studies.
Coffee drinking was assessed using validated food questionnaires every four years over about 30 years.
During the study period, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died from a range of causes.
In the whole study population, moderate coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and suicide.
Coffee consumption was not associated with cancer deaths.
The analyses took into consideration potential confounding factors such as smoking, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and other dietary factors.
“This study provides further evidence that moderate consumption of coffee may confer health benefits in terms of reducing premature death due to several diseases,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology.
However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects, the authors noted in a paper that appeared online in the journal Circulation.