I have a few different ways I justify my excessive caffeine consumption when people question me about it. Including, but not limited to “Yeah, but I only have small ones so it’s okay!”, “Yeah, but I sleep fine at night!” and “Yeah, but it’s my only vice! Well, apart from pizza, burgers and icecream…” But thanks to new research from Spain, I can now add another, far more convincing excuse to my list: “It’s because I want to live a long and healthy life!”
Yep, according to new research published in the European Society of Cardiology, people who drink a lot of coffee live longer. We’re not even talking about just one morning cup of java, either. According to the research, which studied over 20,000 middle-aged men and women over a 10-year period, drinking at least four cups of coffee per day can help to prevent an early death.
Over the decade, the scientists discovered that those who drank at least four coffees per day had a 64% lower risk of mortality than those who never drank it. What’s more, for every two coffees consumed, there was a 22% lower risk of mortality. In a statement, the study’s lead author Dr Adele Navarro explained it was most likely the anti-inflammatory effect of the polyphenols (a form of antioxidant found in coffee) that improved their health.
I would advise [people to] drink plenty of coffee, it could be good for your heart. I think it’s a good idea to have about four cups a day.
-Dr Adele Navarro, study lead author
As much as the coffee obsessive in me would love to take Adele’s advice to heart, I have to admit it’s probably not quite that simple. The British Heart Foundation agrees, telling The Independent “The best way to minimise your risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death is to concentrate on an overall healthy lifestyle – eat a balanced diet, stay active and don’t smoke – rather than lining up the lattes.”
So, until more conclusive research is done into the effect of coffee on our overall health, it’s probably best to stick to a moderate amount of caffeine. Suspect you might be drinking too much coffee? These are the signs to look out for.