There are many who begin their day with a nice, hot, cup of coffee. People enjoy the warmth and comfort the popular beverage brings, and look forward to the kick of caffeine. You may have started drinking coffee after watching your parents and grandparents drink it. A new study found that drinking coffee is associated with having a long life.
23andMe is well known for its direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits. Genealogists can purchase a kit, send of a saliva sample, and wait for your results. You may discover relatives that you had no idea existed. You can also get a genetic snapshot of your health.
23andMe has started to work with researchers in order to learn more about the genetics connected to a specific disease. In addition, the company also posts information on its blog about studies that have been done that involve genetics. One such study was done by researchers at Harvard.
The study included more than 200,000 nurses and doctors. All of them were involved in a 30-year study that tracks health outcomes, diet, and lifestyle. One of the things the study tracked was coffee consumption (which was measured in the number of cups a doctor or nurse had in a day).
There have been previous studies that focused on coffee consumption. In the past, researchers found that those who drank one-to-five cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of death than those who did not. The Harvard researchers found the same thing in their study.
Interestingly, the Harvard researchers also chose to focus on people who drank more than one-to-five cups of coffee a day (which is considered to be a moderate amount). The study showed that heavy coffee drinkers, those who consumed more than 5 cups of coffee per day, also had a lower risk of an early death.
The moderate coffee drinkers (who drank one-to-five cups of coffee per day) had an 8% lower risk for premature death. Those who drank five cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of a premature death. What about heavy coffee drinkers? They had a 12% lower risk of premature death.
The authors of the study have stated that the data does not indicate whether the connection between coffee drinking and longevity is causal. There could be other factors that are the actual cause – which would mean the amount of coffee a person drinks and its result on their lifespan is nothing more than correlation. More research needs to be done.
That being said, other studies indicate that drinking coffee is associated with beneficial outcomes. Those outcomes include lower risks for type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, lethal prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases and some neurological diseases.
Image by Angelo Juan Ramos on Flickr.
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