The functional and structural changes that accumulate as a result of the passage of time are for the most part unavoidable. But scientists remain hellbent on identifying feasible ways to slow this process, and their research continues to bear fruit. The latest scientific research offers an indication of how coffee consumption may impact lifespan.
A new study of more than 170,000 people in the UK, suggests that those who drank between two to four cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of death from all causes.
The study, led by the School of Public Health at Southern Medical University in Guangdong, found no difference in risk of death among coffee drinkers who added sugar and those who didn’t.
After adjusting for several confounding factors, the researchers found regular coffee drinkers were significantly less likely to die from any cause, heart disease and cancer, compared to non-drinkers.
The benefits were consistent for several types of coffee types including ground, instant and decaffeinated.
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Estefaniá Toledo, MD, PhD, of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra in Spain, advised exercising caution when adding sugar to coffee drinks, however.
The results are consistent with previous studies that have suggested coffee could lower the risk of several neurodegenerative diseases and liver problems.
It has previously been shown that coffee influences the activity of genes via epigenetic changes.
It comprises several chemical compounds recognised for their potential therapeutic effects.
A key element is chlorogenic acid – an antioxidant abundant in fruits and vegetables that shields against oxidative stress – a key driver in chronic diseases.
Researchers suggest the component may also boost mood, help infections heal, and lower blood sugar levels.
It exerts its benefits by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which is in charge of breaking down carbohydrates and limits the uptake of glucose during digestion.
Other components of coffee may carry health risks, however.