Paul Braven

Coffee helps you live longer - study

REVELATIONS drinking between three and five cups of coffee a day can help you live longer don't surprise Lismore barista and Bank Cafe manager Jeremy Link.

"I remember reading something about the health benefits of coffee a few years ago," he said.

Coffee not so bad

"I've chatted to a few people who have thought about giving up coffee and they have come to the realisation that it's not so bad.

"Its gotta be good because it's natural, it's a bean."

Researchers at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health found people who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The study compared people who don't drink coffee, with people who drink two or less cups daily, and people who drink between three and five cups per day.

Reducing insulin resistance

"Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation," said first author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition.

"That could explain some of our findings.

However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects."

The study gathered data from three large, ongoing surveys including some 300,000 nurses and other health professionals who agree to answer questionnaires about their own medical conditions and habits at regular intervals over the course of 30 years.

"In the whole study population, moderate coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, and suicide," the findings said.

Great news for Lismore's coffee scene

Mr Link said the research was great news for Lismore's coffee scene.

"The coffee culture in Lismore is going through the roof," he said.

"We get people from Melbourne coming in saying 'your coffee is better than what we get in Melbourne'.

"There is great diversity drinking coffee in the region from farmers to families, to the alternative people and travellers."

Professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, Frank Hu said 'regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet.'

Warning

"However, certain populations, such as pregnant women and children, should be cautious about high caffeine intake from coffee or other beverages."



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