The is-coffee-good-for-you debate is constantly going back and forth, making us question whether we should be stopping for a morning cup of joe or cutting out the caffeine altogether.
But thanks to the latest report from the Harvard University, we’ve put the kettle on, ready to indulge in our third – and final – cup of the day.
The report published yesterday concluded that three cups a day was the magic number, as coffee consumption can significantly elongate your life, lowering the risk of dying from heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. There is also a correlation between drinking coffee and a lower suicide rate. Previous studies have also demonstrated that drinking coffee can lower your risk of stroke and depression, too.
The most recent findings were taken from three on-going studies, featuring a large sample totaling 208,501 men and women, and took on board other factors that could shorten life span such as smoking, body mass index (BMI), levels of physical activity, alcohol consumption and diet.
Over the span of three decades, questionnaires were sent out every four years, and the feedback linked moderate coffee consumption (compared to none or low coffee intake) to a noticeably lower risk of death from the causes listed above.
Sensitive to the liquid energy and don’t want to be up all night? Good news is that the study shows that switching to decaf didn’t alter the results at all. It states:
“Our results showed similar associations of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption with risk of total and cause-specific mortality in both the overall population and never smokers, further showing that other components in coffee besides caffeine might play a beneficial role mediating the association between long-term coffee consumption and risk of mortality.”
Lead scientist in the study Ming Ding from Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health explains that: "Bioactive compounds [compounds that have the ability to have an effect of living organisms, cells and tissue] in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects."
In the meantime, back to that kettle…