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Japanese Study Concludes Drinking Coffee Can Lead to a Longer Life

Even one cup of coffee a day can help you live longer, according to a new Japanese study on coffee and mortality.

The “Takayama study”, by Michiyo Yamakawa and others, tracked over 31,500 people for more than 14 years, and showed that even one cup of coffee was associated with a 16% lower risk of all-cause mortality and mortality from cardiovascular, infectious and digestive diseases. Subjects who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day showed highest results at 19% lower risk.

This study has similar findings of other large population studies throughout several countries that have been published over the past 4 years. They all show the association of coffee and lower risk of mortality from all causes over a similar period of time. In 2015, a study with 133,000 subjects showed 3-5 cups a day reduced risk of all-cause mortality by 15%; in 10 European countries and half a million subjects, research showed a decrease around 12%, and in 2017 a study among non-white populations showed 2-3 cups decreased all cause mortality by 18%. Interestingly, both the Japanese and European studies reported relationships between coffee drinking and lower mortality from digestive diseases.

The Yamakawa research acknowledges that it did not standardize its ‘cup of coffee.’ In other words, some subjects may have been brewing a weak filter coffee and others a strong espresso-type extraction. The earlier European study state, though, that results did not vary by country where coffee preparation and drinking habits may differ. In both this and other research on coffee, further work needs to be done to create a standard for roast curve (how heat is applied to the coffee and how fast the coffee is roasted), roast level (how light or dark the beans are), brew method (espresso, filter, French-press, etc. as well as water type and temperature) or brew ratio (grams of coffee to water).

Coffee has a multitude of beneficial health effects. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Dementia, Parkinson’s and a number of common cancers. Not surprisingly, coffee drinkers have lower mortality rates. There is a dose dependent effect and although we do not fully understand the mechanism there is intriguing scientific data. Coffee drinkers have lower levels of TNF alpha and CRP (c reactive protein) and higher levels of plasma adiponectin and longer telomeres. I refer to coffee as the magical elixir and enjoy 4 cups of coffee each day!
-Sanjiv Chopra MD MACP Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Best Selling Author
Andrew Salisbury, CEO of Purity Coffee, says,
“Coffee is good for you, and we now know coffee is much more than just a caffeine delivery system. These studies also show that benefits are present in the same level for regular and decaf. Coffee is a highly complex agricultural product packed with all sorts of beneficial compounds. Although only one small part of coffee is caffeine, more work needs to be done on the specific bioactive compounds in coffee like chlorogenic acids, lignans, trigonelline, quinides and magnesium that reduce insulin resistance and systemic inflammation.”
Salisbury recommends coffee lovers get the most out of their coffee by purchasing fresh, high quality (specialty grade), USDA certified organic coffee that is roasted and tested to maintain antioxidants and other healthy compounds.
“The more you enjoy your coffee, the more likely you’ll drink 2-3 cups a day and get the benefits research has shown. A great cup of coffee can put you in a good mood, which improves the quality of your extra years of life.”
  1. Yamakawa, Michiyo, et al. “Associations between Coffee Consumption and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Japanese City: the Takayama Study.” Public Health Nutrition, 2019, pp. 1–8., doi:10.1017/s1368980019000764.
  2. Gunter, Marc J., et al. “Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 168, no. 5, 2018, p. 380., doi:10.7326/l17-0689.
  3. “Coffee Consumption and Health: Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses of Multiple Health Outcomes.” Bmj, 2018, doi:10.1136/bmj.k194.
  4. Park, Song-Yi, et al. “Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 167, no. 4, 2017, p. 228., doi:10.7326/m16-2472.
  5. Loftfield, Erikka, et al. “Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism.” JAMA Internal Medicine, vol. 178, no. 8, 2018, p. 1086., doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2425.
  6. Ding, Ming, et al. “Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in 3 Large Prospective Cohorts.” Circulation, vol. 132, no. 24, 2015, pp. 2305–2315., doi:10.1161/circulationaha.115.017341.

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