In many people’s worlds, coffee drinking is evil. Perhaps because coffee is fun, pleasant, and makes you feel good. Those are good things in many people’s books!
So this is a great study about coffee. What makes it good is that it’s enormous. They did over 200,000 people over 12 years of follow-up. They did more than that, but they excluded some people for various reasons.
This is what’s called a prospective study. It’s not the gold standard in studies, which is the randomized controlled double-blind trials, but it’s as close as were going to get.
Why they call coffee vitamin C
I sometimes call coffee vitamin C. Caffeine and coffee have so many benefits to the body. So I’m not surprised about the study at all.
This study contained one surprise about caffeine, which I will share with you in a moment. First let me discuss the key to the study.
The key here is all-cause mortality.
Take people who drink coffee, follow them over a number of years, and see how many of them die for any reason. Compared to a similar group who do not drink coffee. That was the methodology employed in the study.
Coffee resulted in fewer deaths from many diseases
coffee appeared to be inversely associated with most major causes of death in both men and women, including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.
“Inversely associated” means that the more coffee people drank, the fewer diseases of this kind they had.
And here’s the shocker in the study
men who drank 6 or more cups of coffee per day had a 10% lower risk of death, whereas women in this category of consumption had a 15% lower risk. Similar associations were observed whether participants drank predominantly caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee
Did you catch that at the end? Even people that drink a lot of decaffeinated coffee got the protection of coffee.
Coffee actually has a lot of positive and important ingredients to it some of which have just been discovered now.
One of these is magnesium.
A cup of coffee can contain up to 100 mg of easily metabolized magnesium. Magnesium is one of the minerals that we are most of us desperately low in. So it is possible that coffee exerts some of its protection through the magnesium that it offers.
But I also think that a lot of the benefit of coffee does come from the caffeine.
Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality