A new study suggests that drinking a cup of coffee in the morning may be beneficial to your health.
The study published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found a suggested association between people who drank coffee and a reduced risk of death.
The study followed a group of 171,616 participants who had an average age of 55.6 years without any history of heart disease or cancer over several years.
The researchers found that people who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee each day were up to 30% less likely to die during the study period than people who did not drink coffee, The New York Times reported.
Researchers noted that adding sweetener to the coffee did not mitigate the benefit.
“Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of dying, whether or not you added sugar,” Dr. Christina Wee, the deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, told Good Morning America. “The authors defined moderate levels of coffee drinking as drinking one and a half to three and a half cups of coffee. They found that drinking moderate levels of coffee regularly was associated with lower risk of dying from any cause, dying from cancer, and dying from heart disease.”
Wee added that the benefits were consistent whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated, instant or ground, GMA reported.
Though the study found only marginal differences between the benefits of unsweetened and sweetened coffee, the study’s average participant put in only an average of one teaspoon of sugar, CNN reported. Researchers were not able to draw any conclusions about people who use sugar substitutes, CNN reported.
“Biologically, it is plausible that coffee could actually confer some direct health benefits,” Wee told NBC News. But, Wee added, “We can’t say for sure that it’s the coffee drinking per se that leads to the lower mortality risk.”
Because the study was observational, the data does not prove that drinking coffee lowers mortality rates. There could be other factors contributing to the lower rate of death among coffee drinkers, including a better diet or exercise, The New York Times reported.
This isn’t the first study to propose that drinking coffee yields benefits. Earlier research showed that drinking coffee was associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, NBC News reported.
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