Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

Coffee Drinkers (3 – 4 Cups A Day) Have Better Health

Background: Coffee continues to be the most commonly consumed beverage throughout the world. Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of over 1,000 bioactive compounds. There is evidence that coffee is an antioxidant (see posts on October 21, 2017, and October 17, 2016) and has anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic (reduced scarring) effects. However, there is some uncertainty as to the possible health benefits of coffee compared with possible harm. Here is the evidence that coffee drinkers live longer and gain health benefits.
coffee drinkers love cappuccino

Traditional cappuccino with foam

Study: Dr. Robin Poole and colleagues from the Southampton General Hospital in the United Kingdom performed a review of various studies evaluating coffee consumption and health outcomes. The study was published on-line in British Medical Journal (doi 101136/bmj.j5024).   Results: There were a total of 201 reports (called meta-analysis) evaluating the effects of drinking coffee on health outcomes. Health Benefits: Compared to drinking no coffee, coffee drinkers consuming 3 – 4 cups per day lived longer by 17% and had less cardiovascular disease by 15%. High versus low coffee drinking was associated with an 18% lower risk of cancer including the following: endometrial, prostate, oral, leukemia, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and liver. Coffee consumption was also consistently associated with a lower risk of gallstones, kidney stones, gout, and type 2 diabetes. Harmful Effects:  3 – 4 cups of coffee per day compared with no or low coffee use was associated with: low birth weight and preterm birth in pregnant women; and an increased risk of bone fracture in women but not in men.
Health benefits of coffee: cappuccino is a type of coffee

Traditional cappuccino with foam

Conclusions: Overall, drinking 3 – 4 cups per day was more likely to benefit health than cause harm. However, pregnant women should avoid/limit coffee use to reduce possible low birth weight and birth prior to the due date. My Comments: I posted the findings of this report because of the general health information. The positive health benefits support the daily activities of many coffee drinkers.   For those who have breathing difficulty due to asthma or COPD, it is important to remember that caffeine is a mild bronchodilator (opens the breathing tubes).  On January 18, 2015, I posted a brief review of this topic on my website. Hopefully, coffee drinkers will find it easier to breathe in addition to easier to “wake up” in the morning.  The report shows other health benefits of drinking coffee.  

Donald A. Mahler, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works as a pulmonary physician at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH, where he is Director of Respiratory Services.