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August 2013

High Coffee Intake Linked to Increased Death Risk

Contrary to previous findings, a recent study suggests that drinking a lot of coffee may increase the risk of death from any cause.

Coffee is a popular source of caffeine. However, it also contains many other components that are believed to have health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels. These components include chlorogenic acid, quinides, lignans and trigonelline. Coffee consumption has been linked to increased blood pressure and higher levels of homocysteine, which are risk factors for heart disease. Further studies are needed to better understand this link.

In 2012, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men who consumed four or five cups of coffee daily had a 12 percent reduced risk of death when compared to those who consumed none. For women, drinking four or five cups of coffee daily was linked to a 16 percent reduced risk of death.

In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on 43,727 participants from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study to assess the potential association between coffee consumption and risk of death from any cause as well as specific conditions.

Throughout the average 17-year follow-up period, 2,512 deaths were identified. Through data analyses, the researchers found that men who drank over 28 cups of coffee weekly had a higher risk of death from any cause. Furthermore, when analyzing the data by age and adjusting for certain factors such as fitness level, the researchers found that there was a significant link between high coffee consumption, 28 cups or more weekly, and death from any cause for both men and women who were under 55 years-old.

The authors concluded that drinking a lot of coffee may increase the risk of death for people under 55 years-old; however, this study only suggests a potential association and does not prove a cause-and -effect relationship. Further research is necessary.

For more information about coffee, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

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  1. Liu J, Sui X, Lavie CJ, et al. Association of Coffee Consumption With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Aug 13. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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