The morning vice that could save your life

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about coffee — and I can guarantee it won’t be the last.

It’s one the most popular “vices” among my patients. So while I’m not a coffee drinker myself, I always enjoy addressing it here.

Because the fact is, despite its somewhat controversial reputation, for most people, drinking coffee is perfectly safe. And, in fact, it might actually help you live longer.

The surprising benefit of six cups a day

According to the latest study, daily coffee consumption could plummet your risk of death — by any cause.

This report used data from nearly half a million subjects in the UK Biobank study. Researchers observed associations between coffee drinking and mortality over a seven year span.

Overall, researchers identified a dose-dependent link between total coffee consumption and death from cancer, heart disease, or any cause.

In short, the more coffee the subjects drank, the longer they lived.

How much longer?

Well, compared non-coffee drinkers:

  • One cup per day lowered overall death risk by eight percent
  • Two to five cups per day lowered that risk by 12 percent
  • Six to seven cups per day lowered it by 16 percent
  • Eight or more cups per day lowered the risk by 14 percent

The case for — and against — caffeine

That’s a lot of coffee. (For reference, three to five cups of coffee per day would deliver up to 400 mg of caffeine.) I certainly can’t justify drinking that much, nor do I recommend it…

But the news is noteworthy nevertheless. Even if it doesn’t tell us exactly how coffee works its magic.

Here’s what we do know: Ground coffee delivered greater benefits than either instant or decaf coffee. And both caffeinated and decaf versions appear to offer a longevity boost.

However, previous research has linked moderate caffeine intake — whether it comes from coffee or not — with a lower risk of mortality.

So there’s clearly more than one factor at play here.

And of course, it’s important to note that correlation is not causation. Just because high coffee intake is linked with low mortality, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the coffee itself is responsible.

It might be, though. So consider this your cue to go ahead and drink up — just watch what you’re putting in it. Avoid sugar and low-quality creamers at all costs, unless you want to cancel out any benefits altogether.

And just one note of caution: There’s one set of patients for whom I recommend ditching caffeine, regardless of any potential benefits it might have. And those are my patients suffering from adrenal exhaustion.

If you use caffeine as a crutch to get you through the day, there’s a good chance that you fall into this category. I covered the topic most recently in the April 2016 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“URGENT WARNING: That sluggish, ‘tired-all-the-time’ feeling may be putting you on the fast track to deadly disease”).

That article is available to subscribers in my archives — along with everything else I’ve written on the subject. So as always, if you haven’t yet, consider signing up today.