Research continues to evidence the benefits of drinking coffee

Go ahead and have that daily cup of coffee, and a second, and perhaps a third cup…It turns out drinking coffee – plain or sweetened – really is good for you. 

But before running out to buy (or prepare at home) a syrupy, sweetened coffee concoction – and maybe ‘super sizing’ it – there is a caveat. According to new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last month, people who drink a moderate amount of coffee – up to 3.5 cups a day – might have a better chance at a longer life span, even if their coffee is lightly sweetened with sugar. 

Between 2009 and 2018 the researchers tracked the coffee consumption and health of 171,616 participants, who were a mean age of nearly 56 years and were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease when the study started (baseline demographic, lifestyle and dietary data from the UK Biobank were used). The researchers found that those who regularly drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee per day, whether plain or sweetened with about a teaspoon of sugar, had lower risks for all-cause mortality, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, in that time frame, than were those who did not drink coffee (after adjustment for lifestyle, sociodemographic, and clinical factors). The study did not specify if the sugar used – white, raw, turbinado, etc – made any difference. 

The type of coffee – whether ground, instant, decaffeinated, brewed, espresso-style, etc – made no difference, but the results regarding the use of artificial sweeteners and mortality was inconclusive. It should be noted that dietary consumption of sugar-sweetened, artificially sweetened, and unsweetened coffee was self-reported. Regardless, essentially, the researchers concluded that moderate consumption of unsweetened and sugar-sweetened coffee was associated with lower risk of death. 

Of course, the latest research does not prove that coffee alone was responsible for participants’ lowered mortality risk. However, this is just the latest research helping to de-stigmatize coffee drinking as researchers continue to discover coffee’s healthy attributes and the benefits achieved from consuming it. So, coffee drinkers, enjoy your daily cup (s) of coffee worry free (I’m happily going to refill my mug before I proofread this)! 

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