If you’re anything like me, you’ve had at least one person tell you “coffee’s gonna kill you!” or “caffeine will kill you!”.
But what do they know, right? …right?
There’s lots to say that coffee is good for you, but there seems to be just as many naysayers spelling doom and gloom. But will it actually be the death of you?
Well, some scientists was interested in that answer too, because they carried out a rather large scale experiment to get to the bottom of it. Maybe someone said the same thing to them as they did to us, am I right dear reader? 😉
The researchers took almost 126,000 subjects (86,214 women and 41,736 men) and studied them and their coffee intake over 24 years for the women, and 18 years for the men.
At the start of the study, none of them had heart disease or cancer.
Then every 2-4 years, the subjects would complete a questionnaire on how much coffee they drank, as well as other diet related questions, and smoking and health related questions. (This is to help them make sure that any difference can be correctly labelled as being due to the coffee.)
They would then compare the frequency of deaths from cancer, heart disease, and any other cause, with the amount of coffee they drank.
They’re essentially examining people’s lifestyles to see if coffee really was the death of them.
Over the 18 years for men, 6,888 of them died – 2049 due to heart disease and 2491 due to cancer. Over the 24 years for women, 11,095 died – 2,368 due to heart disease and 5,011 due to cancer.
What did they find?
After accounting for everything else (like diet, smoking, and weight), they found the people who drank more coffee were less likely to die during the 18-24 year follow up period.
This was due to a lower risk of heart disease deaths among coffee drinkers.
There was no relationship between coffee and cancer.
What’s most interesting is that these relationships were nothing to do with caffeine – the people who drank decaf also had lower rates of death than non-coffee drinkers.
What does this mean?
In moderation, coffee can help reduce your risk of heart disease. And this isn’t due to the caffeine – it’s likely to be because of one of the other nutrients found in your coffee.
If you’re a decaf drinker, you’ll experience the same benefits.
So there it is. Coffee will not be the death of you. It can even help you live longer!
So enjoy your coffee, and the next time someone says that coffee will kill you, you have something to show them!