Coffee Could Literally Be a Lifesaver

CNN/ Newswire | 11/16/2015, 5:33 p.m.
Throughout the ages, coffee has been called a virtue and a vice for our health. The latest study comes down ...

In keeping with this possibility, Ding and her colleagues found that coffee drinkers were about 10% less likely to die of heart disease. They were also between 9% and 37% less likely to die of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia.

The researchers also found that study participants who drank at least a cup of coffee a day had between 20% and 36% lower rates of suicide, although those who drank less than a cup had 36% higher rates.

Several other studies have hinted at an association between coffee consumption and lower suicide rates, but it was a bit unexpected to see, Ding said. It is not clear whether chemicals in coffee have a direct effect on mental health or whether people who drink a lot of coffee have higher rates of employment or certain lifestyles that are associated with lower suicide rates, she added.

Although previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee could protect against cancers such as prostate and liver, the current study did not find lower rates of cancer deaths among java drinkers.

However, there may not have been a large enough number of deaths because of specific cancers, such as liver cancer, to be able to see a difference between coffee drinkers and nondrinkers, Ding said.

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