Here’s some good news for coffee lovers - drinking java regularly might lower the risk of death. Results from a recent study indicate that seniors who reported drinking a few cups of coffee daily were less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, infections, injuries and accidents than those who didn’t drink coffee at all or those who rarely drank it. The study looked at the coffee-drinking habits of more than 400,000 men and women who were between the ages of 50 to 71 in 1995 and 1996 and took part in nutrition surveys that included questions on coffee consumption. The researchers tracked the participants through 2008 to learn how many of the participants had died and what caused their deaths. They found that men who drank between two and six cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to die from any cause than men who didn’t drink coffee at all. Women coffee drinkers had up to a 16 percent reduced risk of death compared to women who didn’t report drinking coffee. The researchers weren’t able to hypothesize what it is about drinking coffee that might lead to a longer life. The study was published in the May 17, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
My take? I never developed a taste for coffee and don't get a buzz from caffeine, but I have been following the accumulating evidence on coffee's effects on health. Some studies have shown that drinking coffee isn’t harmful to cardiovascular health and may be beneficial. And a study published in 2006 showed that men from Finland, Italy and the Netherlands who drank coffee had lower rates of age-related cognitive decline than those who didn't. Other studies have been less clear-cut about coffee’s health benefits. If you don’t drink coffee, I wouldn’t advise you to start on the strength of the latest findings, particularly if it makes you jittery, anxious, or irritates your digestive system, bladder or prostate.