Go ahead and have that fourth cup of Joe—it may be good for your health. Individuals who consume a lot of coffee have a lower risk of death, according to a new study. European researchers found that people who drank four cups of coffee a day had a 64-percent lower risk of all-cause mortality than people who never or rarely drank the beverage. For every two additional cups of coffee the study participants drank, there was a 22 percent lower-risk of death.
According to PsychCentral.com, the European Society of Cardiology studied the correlation between coffee intake and mortality risk among middle-aged Mediterranean people. They gathered data from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project, a long-term study that started in 1999 and involved over 22,000 graduate students.
The average age of the participants when they enrolled was 37.7 years. Upon joining the study, the volunteers answered various questions about their coffee habits, and they also disclosed information about their lifestyle, sociodemographic status, and health conditions.
Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, noted, “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world. Previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality, but this has not been investigated in a Mediterranean country.”
Researchers followed-up with the volunteers over an average of 10 years. Of the 19,896 who participated in the study, 337 died. During the follow-up, those who were 45 years old and older who drank two additional cups of coffee per day had a 30 percent lower of risk of mortality. There was no significant link between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality among younger volunteers.
Navarro said, “Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.”
The study’s results were presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference.
In an unrelated study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, researchers found that coffee makes people crave sugary treats. While caffeine may make people more alert, it also seems to dampen their ability to taste things that are sweet.
Senior author Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science, explained, “When you drink caffeinated coffee, it will change how you perceive taste — for however long that effect lasts. So, if you eat food directly after drinking a caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated drinks, you will likely perceive food differently.”