People who drink three to five cups of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee per day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease, suggested researchers at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health.
For the study, researchers compared people who do not drink coffee, or drank less than two cups daily, to those who reported drinking 'moderate' amounts of coffee, or up to five cups daily. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect for coffee and the reduced likelihood of certain diseases, but uncovered an apparent link that aligns with previous research, and that researchers would like to probe further.
‘People who drink three to five cups of coffee every day are less likely to die from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease. Researchers suggest that the bioactive compounds in coffee help reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation.
First author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition, said, "Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects."
No protective effect was found against cancer in this study. Some previous research has pointed to a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of certain types of cancers.
The study said, "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."
However, the experts have warned that coffee may not be right for everyone. Senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, said, "Regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, certain populations such as pregnant women and children should be cautious about high caffeine intake from coffee or other beverages."
The study is published in the November 16 edition of Circulation.