Coffee May Be A Lifesaver

Coffee May Be A Lifesaver

Coffee is one of the top worldwide beverages and many consider it a legal upper that gets their heart pumping first thing in the morning. Its smell and communal ties are cornerstones of practically every social interaction throughout the globe.

Yet, there have been many concerns regarding this over-consumed drink, particularly its dehydrating, teeth staining, caffeine jittering effects. Now, a new study published in the Journal Circulation finds that coffee may be a lifesaver.

Large Scale Study

Combined work of researchers from Harvard University, Indiana University and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid studied the effects of coffee and mortality on a large scale group (roughly  200,000 women and 50,000 men).

Lead author of the study, Ming Ding a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health department of nutrition, reported that,

“The lower risk of mortality is consistent with our hypothesis that coffee consumption could be good for you (because) we have published papers showing that coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes and (heart) disease,”

The study conclusion states,

“Higher consumption of total coffee, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of total mortality.”

The Stats 

The amount of coffee each person drank was an integral part of the study, however it is important to note that those who did not smoke obviously scored higher on mortality percentages.

CNN reports on the study,

“Those [non-smokers] who drank between less than a cup of coffee and three cups a day had 6% to 8% lower risk of dying than non-coffee drinkers. Those who drank three to five cups and more than five cups had 15% and 12% lower death rates.”


“The researchers also found that study participants who drank at least a cup of coffee a day had between 20% and 36% lower rates of suicide, although those who drank less than a cup had 36% higher rates. [and] Ding and her colleagues found that coffee drinkers were about 10% less likely to die of heart disease. They were also between 9% and 37% less likely to die of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and dementia.” (CNN)

The Hypothesis

Ms. Ding believes that lignans and chlorogenic acid, two anti-inflammatory, glucose controlling compounds found in coffee, could be the basis for reduced mortality and possibly other health benefits. These include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as prostate, liver, and other cancers (although these theories are still in the testing phase).

These compounds and others also work in unison as potent antioxidants capable of scavenging your system for potential disease causing pathogens.

It May Be In Your DNA

Most people drink a certain number of cups of coffee per day. Some don’t drink it at all. Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) conducted a study by applying DNA sequencing to about 120,000 regular coffee drinkers. The study attempted to determine if there was a pattern associated with genetic makeup and coffee consumption.

They concluded that,

“Our genetic findings among European and African-American adults reinforce the role of caffeine in mediating habitual coffee consumption and may point to molecular mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in pharmacological and health effects of coffee.”

Therefore, some people may need three cups per day too feel the caffeinated affects while others may only need one. Because of this ‘built in’ mechanism, humans may instinctively already know (on a general scale) how much is enough and good for them, enabling the utilization of coffee’s underrated health benefits.

So coffee may not be so bad after all. However, because caffeine is so addicting therein lies the rub. Some people, like any addict, may forego their natural capability to responsibly select coffee consumption and overdo it. Always eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise and talk to your doctor to determine how much coffee may be too much for you.