Could Drinking Coffee Help You Live Longer? [Body Blog]
I resisted coffee for a long time. I used to hate the taste, and I didn’t want to depend on caffeine to get me through my days. I made it through all of high school and my first two years of college as a tea-only person. But then something happened. The long nights of college. My summer job that required me to be at work by 7 a.m. Adulthood maybe? And now, after my junior year of college, I am a full-on coffee addict. I love the taste. And it’s gotten very, very difficult for me to get my day started without a cup.
Luckily for me, my newfound love of coffee might be great for my health. A new study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health, showed that older coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death than those who don’t drink coffee. This lower risk of death was seen in decaf drinkers as well.
The participants in the study ranged in age from 50 to 71. They filled out a questionnaire about their coffee drinking habits when the study began in 1995-1996, and then were followed either until their death or until the study’s conclusion in 2008. Overall, people who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had a 10% lower risk of death than those who did not. And women who drank six or more cups per day had a 15% lower risk of death than women who drank no coffee.
Six cups? That’s a lot of coffee. Some of the old ladies in this study made my own coffee habits look really tame! And of course, since most college students aren’t in their 50s or 60s, it’s difficult to tell whether our age group may see the same health benefits from coffee. More research also needs to be done in order to determine whether or not coffee drinkers might have something else in common that leads to a lower risk of death.
Still, it’s interesting to think about. Wouldn’t it be great if your coffee habit led to awesome health benefits? For now, I’m just going to tell myself that my morning cup is doing wonders for my longevity.
What do YOU think? Is coffee your healthy secret weapon?
Garnet is a student at Columbia University in New York City. She is “that person” who starts dancing at a party when everyone else is standing around, and if there were a Facebook stalking Olympics, she would be a gold medalist. She also loves cheesy 90s music, and almost died of happiness when Vanilla Ice retweeted her. Once. Follow her on Twitter @garnethenderson.