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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (
May 2012

Drinking Coffee Linked to Lower Risk of Death

A new study suggests that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of death.

Caffeine is the most well-known active ingredient in coffee. It naturally occurs in the leaves, seeds and fruits of over 60 plants, including coffee beans and tea leaves. There is strong scientific evidence that caffeine may help improve mood, exercise performance and breathing disorders. This compound is considered the most widely used drug in the world.

In a new study, researchers analyzed data on 229,119 men and 173,141 women from the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants were 50-71 years-old at the beginning of the study, and did not have cancer, heart disease or stroke.

Between 1995 and 2008, 33,731 men and 18,784 women died. The researchers found that when the data was adjusted for smoking habits, drinking coffee was linked to a significantly reduced risk of death from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, accidents, diabetes and infections. Men who consumed four or five cups of coffee daily had a 12 percent reduced risk of death when compared to those who consumed none. For women, drinking four or five cups of coffee daily was linked to a 16 percent reduced risk of death.

The authors concluded that drinking coffee may reduce the risk for death; however, this study only suggests a potential association and does not prove a cause-and -effect relationship. Further research is necessary.

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  1. Freedman ND, Park Y, Abnet CC, et al. Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1891-1904
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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