The Consumption of Coffee Could be Linked to a Lower Chance of Death even With a Small Amount of Sugar
In This Review
Contrary to popular belief the fact that you don’t have to drink coffee isn’t going to boost your health. It could be the reverse The results of years of research suggest that coffee consumption is associated to a lower chance of dying.
The most recent addition to this body of work was released on Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. The study studied approximately 120,000 people from the U.K. who regularly drank sugar-sweetened or sweetened coffee that was not sweetened over seven years. The study found that people who consumed 1.5 up to 3.5 cups daily were less likely to dying in those seven years than people who didn’t drink coffee even when you added just a tablespoon of genuine sugar, not an artificial sweetener — to each cup.
Overall, those who took a cup of coffee with no sugar were 16 to 21 % less likely over the study period than those who did not consume coffee at all as the study’s results indicated.
The researchers didn’t take a examine causality, and so they can’t tell if coffee was directly responsible for the result.
“Biologically, it is plausible that coffee could actually confer some direct health benefits,” the researcher Dr. Christina Wee, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Wee was the editor of the study and also wrote an accompanying editorial on the findings.
She added: “We can’t say for sure that it’s the coffee drinking per se that leads to the lower mortality risk.”
It’s possible, for instance that those who regularly consume coffee are more wealthy and thus more likely to receive higher quality health care or more time to relax or exercise than those who don’t and thus reduce their risk of dying.
Sugar isn’t going to take away coffee’s advantages.
The participants in this new study were between 56 and 56 years old. older, in the average, and were recruited from 2006 until the year 2010. The researchers considered factors such as smoking habits, diet and socioeconomic status, as well as existing health issues and exposure to pollutants in the air.
The study found that those who drink coffee sweetened with sugar had a 29-31 percentage less likely to be killed than coffee drinkers who do not — which is a slight risk reduction than what was seen for those who drink unsweetened coffee but within the same interval.
The study did not yield conclusive evidence for those who consumed coffee containing artificial sweeteners. Neither did it specifically examine those who added cream or milk.
Wee claimed that the results don’t suggest that it’s more beneficial adding sugar into your cup of coffee rather than drinking it as is.
“My most important advice is not to equate this with ‘I can have any type of coffee with lots of calories’, because other studies demonstrate that the addition of sugar and a lot of empty calories isn’t healthy for your health. Therefore, it is best to do things with moderation,” she added.
“What this study is really saying is that adding a little bit of sugar doesn’t take away all the potential health benefits that coffee might have,” Wee stated.
“Not harmful, perhaps even helpful’
A link between drinking coffee and the risk of dying is well established. A study in 2019 found that drinking between two and four cups daily reduced the risk of death for a person in comparison to those who did not drink coffee. A different study suggested that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day decreased the risk of suffering from heart disease as when compared to not drinking coffee whatsoever. The same study found that drinking coffee was linked with a lower chance of developing Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney diseases, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers.
However, experts aren’t able to determine the reason coffee has these benefits.
Certain studies suggest that antioxidants found in coffee may help reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of getting sick however the relationship isn’t certain.
In addition, other studies have been conducted that has linked coffee with negative adverse health effects. A study from 2015 revealed that drinking anywhere from one to four cups per daily was linked to an increase in the risk for blood clots developing, however, the reverse was also true in those who consumed 5 or more cups of coffee a every day. A study conducted last year however, revealed that boiling coffee was linked to higher amounts of “bad” cholesterol, while filters didn’t produce the similar result. Caffeine may also increase blood pressure, but only in the short-term.
The latest research isn’t conclusive, Wee said. She also noted that certain lifestyle aspects related to coffee drinking could be detrimental: “You work long hours and you need to stay up all the time, or you’re stressed and you have deadlines.”
In light of this, Wee said, “I am more confident that we can say that coffee drinking is likely not harmful, maybe a little bit beneficial.”
“If you don’t enjoy coffee, I wouldn’t force yourself to like it,” she said.