BOSTON — A study published on Monday on the Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA) by Harvard researchers revealed that a daily coffee drinking habit may reduce the risk of premature death. It applies to both decaf and caffeinated coffee.

The study began recollecting information from surveys passed to 167,944 women and 40,557 men across the U.S., in which they were asked about their coffee consumption and general eating habits. Later, researchers studied the participants’ death rates and medical history over 20 years, which revealed that those who drank between less than a cup and three cups of coffee daily lowered their death risk by 5 to 9 percent in comparison to the Americans who didn’t drink coffee at all.

Said percentage increased by 6 to 8 percent when researchers excluded smokers from the group of moderate coffee drinkers. Additionally, those who drank from three to five cups daily got 15% lower death risk.

According the study, a moderate amount of coffee a day may prevent cardiovascular illnesses, Type 2 diabetes and depression. Credit: bigstockphoto

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects,” stated Ming Ding, nutrition doctoral student and author of the study.

Coffee is already known to be a main source of antioxidants, have relaxing properties, and ease or prevent illnesses such as Parkinson, depression, skin cancer on women and Alzheimer’s.

In fact, the study also found that coffee-drinkers were 9 to 37 percent less likely to develop Parkinson, dementia or other neurological illnesses, and also had 20 to 36 percent lower suicide rates.

Although these benefits could be attributable to an overall healthier diet on participants who drink coffee, researchers found that said group also had a higher tendency of consuming red meats and drinking alcohol.

According to Ding, the ingredients of coffee may be the ones to thank for the lower death rates on coffee-drinking participants, since it has chemicals like lignans and chlorogenic acid, which are responsible for lowering inflammation and controlling blood sugar, reducing the risk of heart disease. Coffee drinkers were proved to be 10% less likely to suffer from it.

In the case of the lower suicide rates, the author states that it was an unexpected discovery and that it is unsure whether the components of coffee have a positive effect on mental health, or the coffee drinking habit is associated with more successful lifestyles or with people with higher rates of employment.

Further research will be needed to answer these questions.

Source: Huffington Post