Home Sciences Moderate coffee consumption lowers the risk of death

Moderate coffee consumption lowers the risk of death


Coffee, whether sweetened or unsweetened, prolongs life and lowers the risk of death, regardless of whether it is instant, ground or decaffeinated. Diet and lifestyle can alter this ability.

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day, even with sugar, is linked to a lower risk of death, according to new research from the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

People who drink a moderate amount of coffee every day, either plain or sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar, are 30% less likely to die from any cause over a seven-year period, compared to those who don’t drink coffee.

These results are less consistent for people who use artificial sweeteners in their coffee, according to the authors of this research.

The lower risk of dying associated with moderate levels of coffee consumption is proven, regardless of whether you drink decaffeinated coffee, instant coffee or ground coffee, this study has concluded.

More precise

Previous studies looking at the health effects of coffee had already found that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death, but did not distinguish between coffee without sugar and coffee consumed with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

The authors also note that although coffee has beneficial health qualities, some variables, such as diet and other lifestyle factors, may alter the results of the new study.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers used data from the UK Biobank Study’s Health Behavior Questionnaire.

More than 171,000 UK participants without known heart disease or cancer were asked various health and dietary behavior questions to determine coffee drinking habits.

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Quantified data

The authors found that, over the 7-year follow-up period, participants who drank any amount of coffee without sugar were 16 percent to 21 percent less likely to die than participants who didn’t drink coffee.

They also found that participants who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of sugar-sweetened coffee daily were 29 to 31 percent less likely to die from any cause than participants who didn’t drink coffee.

The authors add that the data from the participants are at least 10 years old and were collected in a country where tea is an equally popular drink.

They note that the average daily amount of sugar per cup of coffee reported in this analysis is much lower than specialty beverages served in popular chain restaurants and cafes, and that many coffee drinkers may drink it instead of other beverages. , making comparisons with non-coffee drinkers difficult.

relative advance

Kevin McConwayProfessor Emeritus of Applied Statistics at The Open University, comments that, although it is a fairly careful study, he is not sure that it has made much progress in understanding the effects of coffee consumption on health.

“It seems pretty reassuring that whether you sweeten your coffee (with sugar or artificial sweetener) there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in the pattern of association between coffee consumption and the chance of dying in the next few years, so maybe it’s one less thing.” to worry about. But I’m not sure the study is able to show that beyond a doubt.”

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The doctor. Duane Mellorsenior lecturer at Aston University School of Medicine, stresses that this study is limited in that it cannot show any causal link between coffee and risk of death, and can only suggest any link during the follow-up period of participants.

limited data

Finally, Gunther KuhnleProfessor of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Reading, points out that the results of this study are very good, but that the data on diet are limited: they do not include many details about the type of coffee consumed, something that can have an overall impact on health.

He adds that whether the coffee is robusta or arabica, filtered or steam extracted, makes a big difference to the potential effect of coffee on health. However, the general consensus from this study and the existing body of research is that coffee consumption is not detrimental to health and may even have some benefits.

And Kuhnle concludes: “in summary, the study is informative and interesting, but it does not justify any recommendation to change the behavior on its consumption”.


Association of Sugar-Sweetened, Artificially Sweetened, and Unsweetened Coffee Consumption With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. A Large Prospective Cohort Study. DanLiu et al. Annals of Internal Medicine, 31 May 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7326/M21-2977

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