May 17, 2012

Coffee drinkers live longer.

A correlation.
Compared to those who drank no coffee, men who had two or three cups a day were 10 percent less likely to die at any age. For women, it was 13 percent.

Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little: 6 percent in men and 5 percent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day - a 16 percent lower risk of death.

92 comments:

Pogo said...

That should cheer up the Coffee Party, at least those members remaining.

Steve Austin said...

Ann-Don't really care about the coffee but waiting for a good Althouse post on the new fact this morning that Elizabeth Warren contributed her crab recipes to a 1984 Indian Cookbook entitled "Pow Wow Chow"

EDH said...

How many people here are like me?...

Daniel Fielding said...

I hadnt drunk coffee since 1994, when I became serious about following our Church's rules. ( I am a Mormon). But, based on what I read, I have decided to drink some coffee everyday.

Pogo said...

Ever since I was in med school, professional nannies and medical worriers have tried to blame coffee/caffiene for something, anything.

But nada, except that (1) it makes you pee, (2) it might cause reflux, and (3) it causes insomnia if you drink it too late in the day.

So studies like this one cause those folks to wail and gnash their teeth.

Which is bad for you, as it turns out.

Curious George said...

If I'm doing the math right, I am...well...immortal!

dreams said...

I've started drinking a couple cups of instant coffee per day with a small plastic spoon of Hershey's cocoa that has 10& to 13% cocoa butter and one small plastic spoon of coffee, no sugar. Probably not for most people but its not bad.

Ron said...

Like Curious George, gaze upon my mighty works and despair!

Perhaps they should break it down...does hand-pulled espresso shots matter vs. frozen crystals?

David said...

"10 percent less likely to die at any age."

Immortality at last.

MTN said...

You appropriately highlighted "correlation." Who drinks 2-6 cups a day? Motivated, busy people who probably have a lot to live for and whose income, diet, level of insurance and other factors tend to put them in a group that lives longer relative to the entire population. So coffee drinking may be a good predictor of longer life but also may not be particularly good for you. It's just that the other factors override the detrimental effects of drinking burnt tropical beans.

bagoh20 said...

I do know that others around me live longer if I have my coffee.

Mark said...

Great. So when I mix my coffee and red wine, I'll live forever with shaky hands and no alzheimers.
Such a deal.

Astro said...

So you're saying The Suicide Wife should have had more coffee?

AllieOop said...

Way down among the Braziliians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they've got to find those extra cups to fill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

The Coffee Song

Glad I drank lots of coffee over the years, glad I'll be drinking more cups in the years to come .

MadisonMan said...

I drink just enough (Iced Coffee and Indie Coffee in Madison is the best) to enjoy it, but not to become addicted. Caffeine withdrawal is the pits.

Scott said...

I love coffee, sweet and hot,
Woops Mr Moto, I'm a coffee pot!


But those completely unreyclable Keurig coffee pods are evil.

Shanna said...

What about iced tea? It's too hot in the summer to drink coffee.

Barbara said...

Is this a government funded study that actually concludes that if you drink a certain amount of coffee, you'll never die??
Gotta be - they really do think we're idiots!!

Crimso said...

"Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little"

Not demonstrated. A single cup a day correlates with lower risk. The above sentence asserts causation, weasel word "seemed" notwithstanding.

AllieOop said...

I've been drinking half decaf, half regular, with half and half. Hmmm, wonder if the benefits of coffee are diminished any by decaffinating it.

Decaf just as healthy!

AllieOop said...
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Tibore said...

Hmm. Interesting correlation. But until there's any evidence of causation, then there's really nothing practical to this study outside of academia.

Now, inside the relevant research field, there is value: It can be used as material for other studies to cite, and could even function as a jumping-off point for further direct research on the topic. But that's really the limit of it right there: Interest to researchers, and interesting data in the overall body of knowledge. There's nothing practical the average person can draw from this, not yet anyway.

While the study's results have excellent worth within the medical research field, it's nothing more than trivia outside of it. There's such a thing as stretching a small bit of knowledge too far, and not knowing the context of why the correlation exists makes any real-world conclusion nothing more than speculation. Let's respect this for what it is: Good data based on rigorous observation that can help forward knowledge generation. Let's not make it out to be something it's not.

AllieOop said...

Make that decaffeinating. Need more caffeine.

Ralph L said...
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JAL said...

So 20 cups a day means I might live forever?

Crimso said...

Michael Mann has modeled this and found that when you graph average lifespan vs. cups of coffee/day you get something that resembles a hockey stick. This resulted in an overlooked mandate in Obamacare requiring people to drink a minimum of 12 cups of coffee/day. It's science!!!

Peter said...

People in very poor health may account for a non-trivial proportion of those who drink no coffee. They're not in poor health (with limited lifespans) because they don't drink coffee; rather, they avoid coffee because of their health issues.

Mitchell said...

More research is needed into the long-term effects of coffee breath.

Scott M said...

Michael Mann has modeled this and found that when you graph average lifespan vs. cups of coffee/day you get something that resembles a hockey stick.

Apparently they finally got all of the initial model data they've been after for years now and it completely removes the upswing in said stick de hockey.

Ralph L said...

We non-coffee drinkers are slurping up beer, whiskey or gin or crack or HF corn syrup--that's why you live longer--the other addictions are worse.

Since 1988, I haven't been able to stomach anything more than tiny amounts of caffeine. A can of regular Coke would rip my colon a new one, after knocking me out most of a day. My late cats made my indigestion much more frequent, but other cats don't bother me. Doctors told me caffeine is an irritant. No shit.

traditionalguy said...

The recent Steig Larrson best seller mysteries made you think that Swedish folks never encounter a person without offering a hot cup of coffee.

I've got to get my cup now...the Mr Coffee is sputtering that it is finished.

I noticed many years ago when we were travelling that everywhere you go they sell high quality cups with the local names /events on them. The Stratford festival play productions and the Steinbeck Center, and race tracks, and all foreign countries have them.

The memories come back when you sip from the cups. This morning I am using the Gigi cup with Chevaliers saying "I'm glad I'm not young anymore."

Meade needs to look into some Althouse Blog cups.

AllieOop said...

Finally read the article, it also states that decaf is just as good as regular, in benefits anyway. There is a newer way of decaffeinating that uses water instead of chemicals, so no worries.

Joe said...

I work in the midst of coffee and non-coffee drinkers and I never acquired the taste. My casual observation is that the non-coffee drinkers drink more sodas and juices than the coffee drinkers. (Many of us stick with water.)

Crimso said...

"Apparently they finally got all of the initial model data they've been after for years now and it completely removes the upswing in said stick de hockey."

Reading my mind?

"water instead of chemicals"

Ahem...

Reminds me of the time someone was telling me he had a grant that used to allow him to spend money on "supplies" for the lab that included coffee pots (yes, I know, but lab safety was more lax in those days). The lab needed a new pot and so he ordered one using the grant money and was informed that the granting agency no longer approved such purchases. To him it wasn't the cost but rather the principle: labs run on coffee, grants should cover it. He thought about it, and then put in an order for a "plant extractor" using that grant. Coffee pot obtained.

edutcher said...

Damn, doesn't say anything about soda.

TomB said...

Since mortality is currently 100%, I'm all in for drinking more coffee to bring it down to 90%. I want to be part of the 10%!

As for soda, edutcher, probably similar if its only the caffeine that has the positive effects. Probably more than made up for though by high fructose corn syrup in regular and aspartame in diet sodas....

edutcher said...

No, The Blonde can't do diet because of she had her gall bladder out.

Figures.

AllieOop said...
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AllieOop said...

Edutcher, is this specific to your wife only?

There is no reason one cannot have diet soda after gallbladder removal. Best to stick with Splenda sweetened soda though.

PatCA said...

David, I thought that too! Who knew? Coffee is the key to eternal life!

edutcher said...

Artificial sweeteners are sugar alcohols (an old friend from work's husband is a chemist and, when she laid the problem out to him, told her, "I never thought of it like that, but you're right") and about a quarter of those who have their gall bladder out can't process alcohol; gives them pancreatitis attacks.

And she won't do Splenda cause it's base is chlorine.

Besides, people who use a lot of artificial sweetener are more prone to Alzheimer's

AllieOop said...
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AllieOop said...

Edutcher, sugar alcohols are neither sugar, nor alcohol. There is no or correlation between sucrulose and Alzheimer's (perhaps there is with other artificial sweetners) conversely there IS a correlation between sugar intake, increased blood sugars and Alzheimer's.

traditionalguy said...

Update: After 2 cups of black coffee, I am still alive.

This thing works!

traditionalguy said...

And Allie is awake now too. Good morning Oop.

AllieOop said...

Top of the mornin' to ya Tradguy!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

men who had two or three cups a day were 10 percent less likely to die at any age. For women, it was 13 percent.

Woo Hoo... I guess this means we have a 10 to 13% chance to live FOREVER!!

The writer must be a college grad-u-ate.

edutcher said...

Oop. as usual, is blowing smoke.

As I say, a chemist who works for PPG agreed with Herself and I'll leave it there.

My own, limited, understanding of organic chemistry is that booze occurs when the sugar ferments; ergo, alcohol derived from sugar.

I keep my money on The Blonde, thank you.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk a little

Actually, the article says the study had no way of determining causation.

It's interesting that the headline is "Study finds java drinkers live longer." Based on the article, the headline could have been: "Study finds male java drinkers more likely to die of cancer."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

that decaf is just as good as regular

Drinking decaffeinated coffee makes about as much sense as those containers of fat free half and half.

WTF?

Who ever would buy fat "free" half and half. What is the point?

AllieOop said...

Good grief Ed, do a Google search, how hard is that? Shows you lack curiousity. No surprise.

AllieOop said...

DBQ, if caffeine is not what you are after, but you still love the flavor of coffee and want the antioxidant benefits of coffee, decaf makes perfect sense. I do however agree that drinking fat free half and half is pointless, besides tasting horrible.

Lyle said...

What about 8 cups a day? Does that reverse the help? Am I going to drop dead sooner now?

Scott M said...

What about 8 cups a day? Does that reverse the help? Am I going to drop dead sooner now?

If you can hit 300 in one day, time will sudden stop for you, though you'll still be able to move around freely. Not all superheroes are from other planets or got bit by radioactive whatsits, you know.

Geoff Matthews said...

As JAC notes, never trust a reporter to get a science story correct.
Personally, I've never been impressed with the typical methods found in food studies.

Crimso said...

FWIW, and to split hairs and be pedantic (which is my whole shtick), "sugars" are by definition alcohols. Slightly different definitions depending on the source, but I'd go with: polyhydroxy (hydroxyl groups are alcohol groups) aldehydes or ketones, or substances which when hydrolyzed yield such molecules (and even before they are hydrolyzed, they still are chock full of -OH groups).

Some "artificial" sweeteners are simply other carbohydrates (other than sucrose), others (such as aspartame, which is a couple of amino acids with a methyl group attached) could produce alcohols as breakdown products (methanol in the case of aspartame), but I don't know off the top of my head exactly what process your body uses to metabolize aspartame. Off to the literature, I suppose.

Dante said...

Crimso, right, correlation does not imply causation. Perhaps people with really high blood pressure eschew coffee. Perhaps those with moderately high blood pressure only sneak a couple of sips a day. Or, who knows, perhaps people that drink a lot of coffee can't sit still.

AllieOop said...

sugar alcohols

Crimso, split hair makes for a head full of wild tangles.

edutcher said...

Thanks, Crimso.

Herself said it's metabolized the same as a sugar alcohol because they have an alcohol chain in them.

Also, she mentioned that artificial sweeteners are neurologically damaging, including Alzheimer's. This she confirmed with a neurologist she's known all her working life.

And, yes, I take her word for this stuff because she's worked with it for 43 years and her knowledge has saved my miserable life a couple of times.

AllieOop said...

Ed, I don't think he's agreeing with your premise that they get metabolized the same way, perhaps he will weigh in again.

It's sweet that you believe everything "The Blond" says as the ultimate truth, but sometimes, do you ever just get curious on your own?

Crimso said...

Ahh, Allie,I see. I tend to be pretty literal in using terminology involving my field. Looks like the sugar alcohols you are referring to are in some cases alditols. We would consider these to be "sugar derivatives," (hence "sugar alcohols"). But while mannose is a "sugar" and mannitol is a "sugar alcohol," mannose is shot through with alcohol groups. My primary point is that (with, I suppose, some exceptions) organic compounds with -OH stuck on them are by definition alcohols, whatever else they may also be called. Cholesterol is an alcohol.

And "wild tangles?" Can you not see my hair? It's actually considerably shorter (that pic was from last summer).

AllieOop said...

Crimso, it's what's under that wild tangle that counts;)

Crimso said...

I'm not sure exactly how the various artifical sweeteners are metabolized, so I can't say I'm agreeing or disagreeing. I don't see any obvious connections between gallbladder removal and artifical sweeteners, with the possible exception that both can result in diarrhea (and I would think that depends on the sweetener in question). But in biological systems, connections are not always obvious. A PubMed search yielded nearly 300 hits, but none on the first page had any obvious explanations that could be gleaned from their titles. Only read a few abstracts, then lost interest and starting admiring my dog.

Crimso said...

"Crimso, it's what's under that wild tangle that counts;)"

A lot less than people think! And I don't doubt that amount is low to begin with.

AllieOop said...

Crimso, I could see you owning a very smart Komondor.

AllieOop said...

So what was this thread all about again, ohhhh yes COFFEE, carry on, so sorry for the hijack.

Scott M said...

FWIW, and to split hairs and be pedantic (which is my whole shtick)

I vouch for that latter bit. It takes a pedantiphile to know one, after all.

Crimso said...

And at the risk of showboating, if any of you are interested in the effects of fructose in the diet, I would direct your attention to a recent study published in PNAS (Ishimoto, et al., March 13 2012) in which mice were engineered to lack certain critical enzymes for metabolizing fructose.

When both the liver and the nonliver forms of the enzyme were deleted,the mice were protected from their version of fructose-induced metabolic syndrome (the fructose was largely excreted in the urine). But when only the nonliver form of the enzyme was deleted (and it was previously thought to be unimportant), fructose intake caused a substantially WORSE form of metabolic syndrome.

Presumably, the nonliver form of the enzyme does a fair amount of the work of metabolizing fructose. When it is absent, the fructose load on the liver becomes much greater. It is suspected that excess fructose metabolism by the liver results in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and ultimately diabetes.

Crimso said...

Don't presume to lecture me, Scott.

And Allie, the dog is 3/4 boxer 1/4 pit bull. She's very sweet and very beautiful.

Crimso said...

We dissected that paper in a topics class I just finished teaching. Topics classes are great, because you can pick anything to cover, so you get into some of the more interesting and strange stuff just coming out. We talked a lot about Alzheimer's. A lot.

Scott M said...

Who's lecturing? Don't you have a lengthy email to read or a Niven to lick?

Lyle said...

Scott M,

I freaking knew it. I had started floating around after one coffee binge. Totally cool.

AllieOop said...

Crimso, yes I am interested in the effects and mechanics of what Fructose does in our bodies. Fructose is some bad stuff, avoid!

Metabolic Syndrome is something I'm very interested in, as well as Alzheimer/ Dementia disorders. I worked for several years on Alzheimer / Dementia units, devastating.

CLH said...

Javajavajavajavjavajava- I finally have an excuse for my habit! Woohoo!

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

Ed, I don't think he's agreeing with your premise that they get metabolized the same way, perhaps he will weigh in again.

It's sweet that you believe everything "The Blond" says as the ultimate truth, but sometimes, do you ever just get curious on your own?


Actually, he is.

And I'll bet I'm more curious about more stuff than Oop.

But I know where my weaknesses are and I know when someone knows more than me to shut up and listen.

And she's The Blonde.

A girl, not a guy, although I have no doubt Oop gets confused about all things gender-related.

Freeman Hunt said...

I love coffee, but correlation? Big deal.

Freeman Hunt said...

You appropriately highlighted "correlation." Who drinks 2-6 cups a day? Motivated, busy people who probably have a lot to live for and whose income, diet, level of insurance and other factors tend to put them in a group that lives longer relative to the entire population. So coffee drinking may be a good predictor of longer life but also may not be particularly good for you. It's just that the other factors override the detrimental effects of drinking burnt tropical beans.

This. Or other such scenarios.

AllieOop said...

Ed,Ed, Ed, he said he wasn't agreeing nor disagreeing on how sugar alcohols were metabolized, because he pulled up 300 Pub Med hits and his dog was looking more interesting to him at that point.

AllieOop said...
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AllieOop said...

Think of it this way Ed, when you overindulge in alcohol you get drunk,when you overindulge in sugar alcohols you get diarrhea. Your body is not metabolizing them the same way.

There is NO evidence that your pancreas is affected by sugar alcohols, NOR your gall bladder. When you post erroneous stuff here that you think is accurate just because The Blond said so, I'm going to correct you and post evidence, as I have, that you are wrong.

Christy said...

when you overindulge in sugar alcohols you get diarrhea
Dayamn! So that's why a whole bag of sugar free chocolate loosens me up.

As others have noted, correlation is not causation. Does coffee drinking correlate inversely with alcohol consumption? Does coffee drinking correlate with the number of hours worked? Does coffee drinking correlate with making timely mortgage payments?

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

Think of it this way Ed, when you overindulge in alcohol you get drunk,when you overindulge in sugar alcohols you get diarrhea. Your body is not metabolizing them the same way.

There is NO evidence that your pancreas is affected by sugar alcohols, NOR your gall bladder. When you post erroneous stuff here that you think is accurate just because The Blond said so, I'm going to correct you and post evidence, as I have, that you are wrong.


Next time someone slips The Blonde a diet soda by mistake, which happened on the first cruise we took together, I guess I'll have to video it so everyone can see what a pancreatitis attack looks like.

Oop has yet to post evidence of anything anywhere. He/she/it is a lot of talk and nothing else.

BTW, with the possible exception of Ann, I probably link to more stuff than anyone else here, so it's there for all to see who backs up what they say.

PS This happens to about a quarter of the people without a gall bladder. Look it up.

AllieOop said...

Christy, yup, loose as a goose, but not drunk as a skunk.

AllieOop said...

Anecdotal evidence does not prove squat, Ed.

AllieOop said...

Ed this is what I found, do you understand that Aspartame is NOT a sugar alcohol?

Side effects of Aspartame in diet soda

edutcher said...

There are other sweeteners beside aspartame.

And it's hardly "anecdotal" when she never had the problem before her gall bladder came out and has had it a number of times under the same circumstances.

Give it up.

As always, Oop defends an untenable position.

edutcher said...

PS I'd ask what part of "it happens to a quarter of the people who have their gall bladder out" does Oop not understand, but it's clear the answer is all of it.

Bottom line, I'll take my biochemistry from a nurse, not a troll.

AllieOop said...

Sigh.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Does coffee drinking correlate inversely with alcohol consumption

Not if you drink Irish Coffee ;-P

@ Edcutcher

Having had my gall bladder out for about 10 years now and dealing with "it". I was advised to do several things that helped. I'm not a doctor OR a nurse so my terminology might be wrong.

1. Avoid high fat meals or high fat snacks. Avoid large meals. Frequent small meals and snacks are best.
2. Use digestive enzymes to supplement the imbalance in liver/bile storage and production.
3. Use calcium carbonate. Tums. two in the morning and two before bedtime along with other vitamins and minerals.

Those things have helped. "It" has nothing to do, at least in my case with sugar or alcohol consumption. Unless I extremely overindulge, in which case I would have had the issue BEFORE the gall bladder was gone.

Alan said...

Starbucks is health food?

William said...

I see the strategy. Coffee is good for you, but the sweetener you put in it will give you Altzheimer's. So net net, coffee is bad for you.....I munch on a head of raw organic broccoli when I need a pick me up.

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