Can Drinking Coffee Help You Live Longer?

Many of us joke that we can’t live without our morning coffee, but according to two new studies, being a regular coffee drinker may actually help boost your longevity. Wellness expert Michael Roizen, M.D., weighs in.

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CLEVELAND – Many of us joke that we can’t live without our morning coffee, but according to two new studies, being a regular coffee drinker may actually help boost a person’s longevity.

Michael Roizen, M.D., a wellness expert at Cleveland Clinic, did not take part in the study, but said the results are consistent with what previous studies have found about coffee drinkers.

“Those people lived longer and had decreased immune dysfunction, decreased cancer rates, decreased cardiovascular disease rates, decreased liver dysfunction and decreased immune dysfunction,” said Dr. Roizen.

One study examined the coffee drinking habits of 185,000 Americans of different races over a 16 year period.

They found that those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had an 18 percent decrease in their chance of death compared with those who never drank a cup.

Another study followed 521,330 people in ten European countries over a 16 year period.

They too found that coffee drinkers had less risk of death from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

Dr. Roizen said previous research has connected coffee consumption with a decreased risk for developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases as well as improved control of type-two diabetes.

He said the key to getting all of coffee’s benefits, however, is to not dilute the coffee with additives.

“The things you want to avoid; added sugar, added syrups, and, of course, added cream,” said Dr. Roizen. “So drink your coffee black, whether it’s decaf or not.”

Dr. Roizen said the good news is that the majority of people are ‘fast metabolizers,’ meaning that they suffer no ill effects from drinking coffee.

He said those who are slower metabolizers can experience headaches, irregular heart beat and gastric upset after drinking coffee and are best to skip that morning cup of joe.

Complete results of the studies can be found in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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