For many of us, a freshly brewed cup of coffee is the driving factor to wake up in the morning and fight off the grogginess. Whether you like your coffee black or sweetened, or cold brewed, it is what truly wakes us up and keeps us going. There have been many debates about the benefits of coffee while few have questioned it.
Now, a new study has found that people who drank moderate amounts of coffee (unsweetened or sweetened) were less likely to die in a 7-year follow-up period. This finding is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In the previous studies, the health effects of coffee consumption were associated with a lower risk of death but it did not observe the effects between unsweetened and sweetened (using sugar or artificial sweeteners) coffee. Researchers from China’s Southern Medical University in Guangzhou used data from the U.K Biobank study health behaviour questionnaire to evaluate all-cause and cause-specific mortality in people consuming sugar-sweetened, artificially sweetened, and unsweetened coffee.
In the research, there were more than 1,71,000 people participated without any known heart disease or cancer. They were asked many diet-related and health-related questions to know about their coffee consumption habits.
- During the 7-year follow-up period, the authors found that the participants who drank unsweetened coffee were 16-21% less likely to die than those who did not drink coffee at all.
- The research revealed that participants who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee using sugar as the sweetener (only 1 teaspoon) were 29-31% less likely to die than those participants who did not drink coffee.
- However, the results are undetermined for those participants who used artificial sweeteners in their cups of coffee. Results were inconclusive for participants who used artificial sweeteners in their coffee.
- Any accompanying editorial by the editors of Annals of Internal Medicine notes that coffee has qualities that benefit the health but confounding variables like socioeconomic status, diet, and other lifestyle factors may make it more difficult to measure these differences.
The study has also faced a few drawbacks -
- The authors mentioned that participant data is at least 10 years old and the results have been collected from a country where tea is predominant.
- In the analysis, the average amount of daily sugar per cup of coffee is much lower than specialty drinks found in cafes, or coffee chain restaurants.
- Many coffee consumers might drink specialty coffee in place of other beverages which makes the comparison with non-drinkers a challenge.
- Based on this data, clinician cautions their patients about higher-calorie specialty drinks and there is no need to cut out coffee from their diet.
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