Photo: Rajmani Sinclair
Coffee lovers rejoice! There have been several scientific studies published recently that show a beneficial link between drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee and increased health benefits. New research shows that coffee might have a protective effect against inflammation and heart disease as we age, which could, as a result, increase life expectancy for some people.
The study that published the findings linking the benefits of coffee drinking and reduced inflammation and heart disease was carried out by Stanford University School of Medicine. It was a long-term study held over a period of ten years to look at the immunology of aging. In the study, the researchers looked at blood samples, survey data, medical and family history of over 100 participants in the study. The participants were divided into two groups - one group of 20 to 30-year-olds and the other group of people 60-years-old and up.
One of the focuses of the study was on gene clusters that related to inflammation and heart disease. Through the course of the study, the researchers discovered that caffeine substantially reduces inflammation effects on cells. As a result of the study, researchers showed a correlation between caffeine intake and longevity. Furthermore, a 2015 Harvard study found that people drinking three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to die of heart attack or stroke.
Photo: Rajmani Sinclair
Another potential benefit of drinking coffee every day relates to a study done at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. The findings of this study were presented at the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society's Congress in Lisbon, Portugal. The study tracked the coffee drinking habits of over 6,000 women and gave participants cognitive tests over the course of ten years. Through the course of the study, researchers found that participants who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of cognitive impairment (Alzheimer's Disease; Dementia) by 27%. This prompted the Professor Ridrigo Cunha, a presenter at the Congress, is the principal investigator at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Portugal’s University of Coimbra to say: “Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing cognitive decline." This is because coffee is rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants which protect and boost cognitive functioning.
Do note that drinking decaffeinated coffee does not have the same health benefits as caffeinated coffee, because the process of decaffeination takes out the beneficial antioxidants that lead to the health benefits discussed in this article. Therefore, when drinking coffee, make sure it's caffeinated. One more tip: don't put too much sugar (if any) in your coffee because that would negate the health benefits of drinking coffee. Don't worry, if you drink the right coffee, you too can enjoy simple, black coffee.
Author: Rajmani Sinclair