If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you may have heard this delicious drink boasts many benefits to your health.
Loaded with powerful antioxidants, coffee has been found to improve heart health, reduce one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, decrease your risk of cancer, and more.
But, did you know that aside from these disease risk-reductions, simply enjoying a moderate amount of coffee each day can actually increase your lifespan?
Live longer, just by enjoying coffee?
Well, unless there’s a cap on the number of cups consumed each day, you know what we’re all thinking…immortality, right?
A lot of research has been done surrounding the benefits of coffee, and throughout these studies, coffee’s life lengthening ability is something that continues to surface.
Here, we’d like to take a look at those studies and see what science has to say about our beloved brew. And, as we consider these findings, we’ll seek to answer the following:
How many cups can you enjoy each day to reap these life lengthening benefits?
Does how you take your coffee affect its lifespan increasing ability?
Does this benefit include decaf coffee?
And, what is it about coffee that gives this brew its superpowers?
Science, Coffee, Health, and Life
We’ve known for some time that coffee contains a large amount of highly potent antioxidants, each playing a role in fighting against disease.
And, while this may certainly be a factor in this brew’s ability to stave off death, researchers from around the world have been studying how coffee can increase lifespan above and beyond disease prevention.
Here are the details and findings of the top studies we've found:
1 - Recently a study was published in the European Journal Of Preventive Cardiology that compared non-coffee drinkers to those people drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day.
In this observational study, drinking 2-3 cups daily of ground, instant, or decaf coffee were linked to equal reductions in heart disease, death from heart disease, and death from any cause.
Looking at these varieties (ground, instant, and decaf), researchers concluded mild to moderate coffee consumption should be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle.
2 - A larger study published in 2018 found that drinking even greater amounts of coffee resulted in increased lifespan.
Nutrition experts from Harvard weighed in on this study, hypothesizing the beneficial compounds found in coffee, other than caffeine, are likely to bring about this benefit as drinking decaffeinated coffee produced the same results as caffeinated varieties.
This study, like the first one mentioned, also observed instant, brewed, and decaffeinated coffee consumption. But here, in more than half a million Britons followed over the course of nearly 10 years, the more coffee participants consumed, the lower their risk of death.
Even drinking 8 or more cups of coffee each day lowered the risk of death by 14%.
*You may wish to consult your physician before consuming more than 8 cups of coffee daily, especially caffeinated varieties.
3 - Observations made by researchers at the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China found coffee to be a life lengthening factor over a 7 year period for those participants drinking 1.5 to 3.5 cups daily.
But here, observing the same study listed under #2 (above), this team isolated the element of sweetness.
Looking at the information given by participants, researchers documented whether the individuals observed used sugar, no sugar, or artificial sweeteners in their daily cups of coffee.
And, death was estimated in three areas: due to all causes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Surprisingly, the team found that even adding sugar to coffee yielded the same lifespan increasing results. In fact, those participants who sweetened their brew were 31% less likely to die, while those who preferred drinking unsweetened coffee were only 21% less likely to die.
Ultimately artificial sweeteners yielded inconclusive results in this study.
It is important to note here that sugar additions hovered around one teaspoon per cup, which is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the average amount of sugar in many lattes, frapps, and confectionery drinks ordered in coffee shops around the globe.
In other words, these additions of sugar were not massive by any means. So, when consuming coffee, steer clear of artificial sweeteners and keep sweet additions to a minimum if you want to reap the healthy rewards of your brew.
4 - A meta-analysis of 26 studies in the Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease claims there to be an “increasingly impressive and consistent body of data” showing those who drink coffee each day have a 7-12% lower risk of dying prematurely, compared to those who do not drink coffee.
In this study (published in JAMA) 521,330 adults were observed over the span of 16 years, and those who drank at least 3 cups of coffee daily significantly reduced their risk of dying from all causes.
5 - Two large 2017 studies found coffee to be linked to increased lifespan when coffee drinking participants from both the US and Europe were found, over the course of 16 years, less likely to die than non coffee drinking participants.
6 - Perhaps the longest study we came across, a 2015 examination published in the journal Circulation, followed participants for 30 years.
When comparing coffee drinkers who drank 3-5 cups daily with those participants who did not drink coffee, those enjoying their favorite brew were 15% less likely to die from all causes, including heart disease, Parkinson’s, even suicide.
The superpowers of coffee
We’ve seen that 2-3 cups…up to 8 or more cups…of instant, regular, and decaf coffee consumed daily, even with a bit of sugar, may add length to your life!
Studies show there are nearly 1,000 biologically active compounds in coffee, and each of these benefits your body in varying ways when you enjoy your brew.
While we won’t be able to review all of those compounds, here’s a look at those that allow you to reap the biggest benefits:
One compound in coffee is called chlorogenic acid, and this can lengthen your life by improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin, improving how you metabolize glucose.
This effectively lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease claiming the lives of nearly 80,000 people annually in the US.
A group of compounds: melanoids, quinines, lignan, trigonelline, each possess both anti-inflammatory properties as well as the antioxidant power to fight against damage caused within the body by free radicals.
The oxidative stress and chronic inflammation caused by free radical damage has been linked to a host of diseases and health concerns such as heart disease and cancer. And, together these diseases alone account for over one million American deaths annually.
While caffeine certainly didn’t seem to be a factor in the studies we looked at above, with decaf coffee yielding equally life-lengthening results, it’s hard to ignore the benefits caffeine brings to your health, which can in turn obviously promote longevity of life.
The caffeine content of coffee has been shown to improve the health of your heart. And most significantly, the effects of caffeine on the body appear to have positive effects on the brain, improving memory and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia, as well as decreasing one’s risk of obesity (linked to multiple chronic diseases).
Both the chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid content of coffee is thought to be responsible for this brew’s ability to reduce the risk of liver disease. And, a primary caffeine metabolite, paraxanthine, has been shown to suppress the synthesis of molecules in the liver that play a role in the development of tumors and fibrosis.
Unfortunately, fatty liver disease is becoming increasingly common, and many do not realize they have the disease until it has progressed to liver cancer or liver failure. So, coffee’s ability to reduce the risk of liver disease, claiming more than 50,000 lives annually in the US alone, could even be silently increasing the lifespan in those prone to the disease.
- As free radical damage promotes aging throughout your entire body, even seen in our physical appearance, the ability of the antioxidant content of coffee to combat this damage can decrease inflammation and the diseases linked to it, as well as reducing one’s risk of death overall.
How many cups of coffee consumed daily can increase your lifespan?
- We’ve seen where drinking 2-3 cups of coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of death.
- And, in some cases, drinking 3-5 cups, even adding a teaspoon of sugar per cup, yielded similar results.
- Some researchers found a connection between an increased lifespan and consuming more than 8 cups of coffee each day!
What kind of coffee can increase your lifespan?
- Most of the research conducted found these results to be true for both regular and decaf coffee varieties.
- Even instant coffee was found to possess the same benefits.
So then, does this mean that no matter the kind of coffee we drink, the more coffee we enjoy each day, the more days we can add to our life?
Right now scientists have concluded that they simply do not know the upper limits of coffee consumption, so especially when drinking caffeinated coffee, moderation is key.
Actually, enjoying coffee in moderation (2-3 daily cups advised by most, 3-5 cups daily advised by some) has long been the key to unlocking the most rewarding health benefits of this brew.
And, as we stated within the article, the addition of sugar to your coffee has its limitations as well. Because obviously, overloading your brew with artificial sweeteners or an abundance of sugar can be detrimental to your health.
But, back to the research findings, as wonderful as they may be, there could be a catch.
The fact is, though there is a clear and real association between daily coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death, or an increase in lifespan, this doesn’t necessarily prove coffee to be the exact cause for longevity.
In other words, even though we know coffee possesses some powerful health benefits due to its impressive antioxidant content, and even though we’ve seen a solid association between coffee drinking and increased lifespan, we really can’t say that coffee alone is responsible for such reduced risks of mortality.
In such studies, there can be many other factors to consider, ultimately affecting the correlation between coffee consumption and longevity:
- Could the coffee drinking participants also have had incredibly healthy lifestyles?
- Could the non coffee drinkers have had lifestyles that contributed to poor health?
And, these are things that can’t be ascertained from the studies reviewed.
So, while the association between coffee consumption and increased lifespan is truly seen, “association doesn’t necessarily mean causation.”
Thankfully, if you’re a daily coffee drinker, you can know you’re drinking to your health. The fact that your Lifeboost brew is clean, smooth, and delicious is simply a bonus.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.