The best news evaaar: coffee may make you live longer

The best news evaaar: coffee may make you live longer

Summary: A study by the National Cancer Institute implies that drinking coffee can make you live longer.

TOPICS: Health

I'm not making this up. According to the article "Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality," published in The New England Journal of Medicine, drinking coffee can help you live longer.

The study wasn't by some fly-by-night bunch of over-the-hill techies looking for an excuse to imbibe more caffeine. Oh, no. The study was authored by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. According to Freedman, "There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking."

Unfortunately, the study raises more questions than it answers, even if it was sponsored by National Institutes of Health and the AARP. It doesn't necessarily state that coffee drinkers live longer. But it does imply that drinking coffee can make you live longer.

W-wait. What?

Good science involves separating out the variables, in order to get to the crux of a particular question, proof, or theorem. In the case of coffee, most studies studied coffee drinkers. And coffee drinkers are an unhealthy lot. They tend to be Type-A, smokers, hard-charging, intense, stressed, and so on.

These are unhealthy characteristics.

So coffee drinkers often have some healthy problems that come as a result of these particular personality characteristics. What Freedman figured out is that the act of drinking coffee itself didn't reduce your time on this planet, it seems to be increasing it.

What you have then, are two parts of the puzzle. The inherent personalities of most coffee drinkers means they might have a tougher health life over the long term. That's bad. But each time you drink a cup of coffee, you might be extending your life span. And that's good.

That might explain why 97-year-old Uncle Earl, who chain-smokes, drinks five cups of coffee a day, and swears like a sailor's sailor is still around. It's not the orneryness. It's the coffee.

Here's a round-up of ZDNet's techie beverage coverage:

Headline credit, by the way, goes to my coffee-addicted husband. When I told him I was writing an article about coffee helping you live longer, he exclaimed, "That's the best news, evaaar."

What about you? Do you drink a lot of coffee? Will this news encourage you to drink more coffee? If so, what are you doing to also combat stress? Talk back in the TalkBacks below.

Topic: Health


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • No They don't

    pretty much every US Citizen drinks coffee and they aren't all hard smokers and anxious. In fact, most of my family enjoys coffee but, almost none of them smoke!
    • Anecdotal vs wider demographics

      How could you possibly speak for everyone outside your family? Your anecdotal case doesn't prove anything.

      If the wider demographic happens to predominantly take coffee as a preferred, non-alcoholic beverage over any other .. then so be it. Let the statistics speak for themselves.

      Staying more to the actual specifics, i actually drink at least two cups of black coffee a day. I don't smoke and i don't drink alcohol except on family occasions (and then only sporadically: once or twice per year, mostly holiday seasons). So that's my anecdotal offering. It might have a little bearing for my life in the long run, but i'm pretty darn sure it means bupkiss for the rest of society at large.

      As to the question of stress? I don't believe i suffer from any undue or high levels of it. The irony with that is that i've drunk alot more coffee in the last 5 years than i've ever drunk before that time - and i suffered more stress related issues prior, and as far as i know, none now. Go figure.

      You take care now.
  • Yawn... another study on coffee

    Decades of medical research on coffee producing conflicting study after conflicting study. Billions of dollars wasted. And we still get a "Meh, probably doesn't matter to your health at all." That and 1,000 years of epidemiological evidence of man consuming coffee.

    Just say "no" to the medical infotainment industrial complex.
  • That's the problem with pseudo-scientific studies

    and information overload. Your head is so busy spinning you lose sight of what matters. Which is, given enough time, just about anything proven will be unproven. And then re-proven... and regurgitated... and before you blink, quantified. And before you re-blink, antiquated. And then emasculated, and sometimes ejaculated... :O well, you get the point.

    Back to my coffee.