Do coffee drinkers live longer?

Posted at 11:01 AM, Jul 12, 2017

I’ve got good news for coffee lovers. 

Two new published studies that included more than 700,000 people in America and 10 European countries linked coffee to a longer lifespan. In the European study, heavier coffee drinkers had a 7 to 12 percent lower risk of dying prematurely, particular from digestives diseases and stroke. In the American study, those who drank more than four cups of coffee everyday had an 18% lower risk of death from all causes throughout the 16-year study period.  Even drinking one cup of coffee daily provided a 12% lower risk of dying early when compared to non-drinkers.

And it didn’t matter if the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated which suggests that caffeine is not the reason why coffee fiends may live longer.  Coffee is very popular and many of you drink it to boost alertness.   Drinking moderate amounts can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, so here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX

1. The FDA recommends not drinking more than 400 milligrams of coffee a day if you’re a healthy adult.  That's roughly four or five cups of coffee.

2. Caffeine amounts in coffee vary and are dependent on how big the cup size is, and if it’s roasted or brewed.  So ask how the barista or check the product’s food label.

3. Caffeine stays in your system for four to six hours so don’t drink it too close to your bedtime or you may have trouble falling asleep.

4. Limit or avoid caffeine if you’re pregnant, as drinking more than one cup a day may increase your risk for miscarriage.

If you drink caffeinated coffee, watch for side effects like irregular heartbeat, restlessness, irritability, and digestion issues. If you experience these, you may want to cut back. I don’t recommend you start drinking more cups of coffee expecting to extend your lifespan. This research shows only an association. Why heavy coffee drinkers live longer could be due to other reasons and more research is needed to find that answer.   Coffee is not a magic bullet.  But eating healthy and exercising daily is.  So make those a priority and you’ll certainly live a longer and happier life.