- A new study suggests that drinking at least two cups of coffee daily could decrease risk of death due to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
- A previous suggested that coffee has the opposite effect and actually increases risk of cancer, but other studies said coffee is good for mental health.
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If you feel like you can’t live without your daily cup of coffee, new research suggests your habit could actually help increase your lifespan.
In a meta-analysis published May 4 in European Journal of Epidemiology, researchers looked at over 3 million people from 40 previous studies and found that those who drank two or more cups of coffee daily had decreased risks of death.
The researchers analyzed previous studies from around the world that included information about people’s coffee drinking habits and their causes of death, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Researchers found that people who drank two and a half cups of coffee daily had a 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Those who drank four cups of coffee had a 24% lower risk of death from diabetes than people who didn’t drink any coffee. People who drank between two and two and a half cups of coffee had a 4% lower risk of death from cancer.
These findings held true regardless of the participants’ ages, sex, smoking status, weight, or the amount of caffeine in the coffee they drank.
The study did have some caveats. The people they analyzed could have inaccurately reported their daily coffee intake in their questionnaires, skewing the data. Additionally, some of the previous studies the researchers analyzed didn’t include information about the types of coffee people drank or substances like sugar and milk they may have added to the brew. These ingredients could have affected the results they found.
Past studies have suggested that coffee could increase cancer risk
The study’s findings differ from previous research that suggest coffee can increase cancer risk.
A preliminary study published in March 2019 found coffee and tea drinkers had increased risks for developing lung cancer regardless of whether they smoked or not.
The chemical acrylamide, which is found in coffee as a byproduct of the brewing process, has also been linked to cancer (it’s most likely not dangerous in the amounts found in coffee, though).
Other past research backs up the most recent findings about coffee and decreased risk of disease. One small study found that regular coffee drinkers were 16% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, and another study of over 50,000 women found drinking at least one cup of Joe each week was associated with a 15% reduced risk for depression.
The conflicting findings of existing coffee studies mean more research needs to be done, but in the meantime you shouldn’t sweat your coffee habit or, if you can’t stand the stuff, try to incorporate it into your morning routine.