New study shows regardless of how the body metabolises caffeine, eight or more cups of coffee per day associated with lower mortality

All those warnings about too much coffee, may not have been true after all. There is, it seems, nothing called too much coffee. almost.

In a study published in Jama Internal Medicine researchers from the National Institutes of Health have reported that drinking eight or more cups of coffee is associated with lower risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They concluded: “Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking 8 or more cups per day and those with genetic polymorphisms indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism. These findings suggest the importance of noncaffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet.”

In other words while coffee drinking has some benefits especially in dealing with non-communicable diseases, your genes decide how well you metabolise caffeine. However the association with a lower risk of death was observed both for slow and fast metabolisers of caffeine.

Moderate coffee consumption has always been inversely associated with mortality but the earlIer “red line” was three to four cups of coffee per day

Moderate coffee consumption has always been inversely associated with mortality but the earlier “red line” was three to four cups of coffee per day. Heavy caffeine intake, particularly among those with common genetic polymorphisms that impair caffeine metabolism, was still something of a grey area. That is now illuminated by the present study which also pushes the “red line” way farther.

The study covered nearly half a million people. The mean age of the participants was 57 years (range, 38-73 years); 271 019 (54%) were female, and 387 494 (78%) were coffee drinkers. Over 10 years of follow-up, 14 225 deaths occurred. Coffee drinking was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, that is more coffee a person drank less were the risks of that person dying.

The authors however warn that the study is based merely on observation and does not in any way establish a cause and effect relationship. It does however provide further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and offers reassurance to coffee drinkers.

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