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Coffee for Longevity : How Your Daily Cup, Even with Sugar, May Boost Lifespan

Studies have shown multiple benefits of drinking coffee, even if it is consumed with sugar. One of the benefits of coffee, according to research, is it helps in increasing lifespan.(1)

Even people who drink coffee in moderation have decreased chances to die as seen in a seven year follow-up period. Other than this, coffee also helps in decreasing the risk of some diseases.(2) Moderate sugar intake in the coffee did not seem to have any effect on these benefits.

Researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou have discovered that people drinking coffee had reduced chances to die during a seven-year follow-up period. This effect was seen most in individuals with moderate consumption of coffee that is about 1.5 to 3.5 cups in a day.

As mentioned before, both unsweetened and sweetened coffee was associated with a reduced risk for death. However, it was seen that individuals who drank sweetened coffee did a bit better than those who drank their coffee without any sugar.  It was found that people who drank sweetened coffee were about 31% less likely to die when compared people who consumed unsweetened coffees, who were about 21% less likely to die. However, for people who use artificial sweeteners in their coffee, the results were unclear.

The Relationship of Coffee with Increased Lifespan and the Role Played By Artificial Sweeteners

Research has also shown that coffee helps in protecting the heart and helps in treating and preventing other diseases. Previous studies regarding the benefits of coffee consumption did not look for the effects of the coffee which was consumed with any specific sweetener on a person’s health.

Studies were done with people with similar habits, except for drinking coffee and followed up with them to see how they do. The data was taken from the UK Biobank that included around half a million of individuals volunteering to make their genetic and medical information available to experts.(3)

There were 171,616 individuals who did not suffer from cancer or cardiovascular disease when the study was started. The mean age of the participants in this study was about 55.6 years and they were observed from the start of 2009 till the conclusion of 2018. In this study, participants revealed their use of artificial sweeteners, sugar or no sweetener in their coffee. Individuals who consumed coffee with one teaspoon of sugar in it were there on an average. Experts gave an estimate on deaths caused by various causes, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Analysis of the data collected showed there was a U-shaped link between how the amount of coffee was consumed and the risk for death. It was found that individuals consuming moderate amount of coffee fared better than those who drank more or less.

It was cautioned by the authors of this study that this data is about a decade old and is also from a country whose popular drink is tea, which can affect the result. It was also observed that participants in this study used very less sugar when compared to one found in various chain coffee shops’ beverage. This causes difficulty in comparing the study participants and individuals who consume coffee at outlets such as Starbuck’s.

How Much Coffee Is Recommended For Health Benefits?

Experts recommend that moderate coffee consumption, such as two to five cups in a day, has previously shown many positive health effects, such as reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, colon cancer and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.(2, 3) The recent research has shown that drinking coffee can also cut down the risk of acute kidney injury.

Studies have also shown that drinking coffee is linked to increased lifespan. It was also found that moderate sugar intake with coffee did not affect the health benefits of the coffee. However, the result is inconclusive with the use of artificial sweeteners.

Experts suggest that if the coffee is causing hyperstimulation, then it is better to consume decaf coffee, as it has antioxidants, which also has many health benefits.

However, it is advised to limit the sugar and artificial sweeteners in the coffee. Drinking coffee is not a problem and is in fact recommended for its health benefits; however, one should be cautious when it comes to adding sugar and drinking specialty coffees with increased-calories.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 20, 2023

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