health benefits | 

Three cups of coffee a day can help you live longer, decade-long study concludes

A decade-long study of almost 500,000 people found that regular drinkers of the hot drink were up to 12pc less likely to die, than non drinkers

Coffee drinkers were also found to be less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and have a stroke.

Charlie Duffield©

Drinking three cups of coffee a day could help you live longer, according to new research.

A decade-long study of almost 500,000 people found that regular drinkers of the hot drink were up to 12pc less likely to die, than non drinkers.

They were also up to a fifth less likely to get cardiovascular disease, or suffer a stroke, results indicated.

However, experts found the health benefits only arose from consuming ground coffee, and not instant powders.

Exceeding three cups a day had no additional positive impact - but alongside caffeine, the popular beverage has minerals and antioxidants which have linked it with reducing the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Yet others indicate coffee can increase the risk of having high blood pressure, or dying from cardiovascular disease.

The new study was conducted by academics at Semmelweis University in Hungary, and Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Steffen Petersen, one of the authors from Queen Mary’s, said the results show moderate coffee consumption “is not cardiovascularly harmful and may even be beneficial”.

He told the Daily Mail: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest volume of research to date focusing on the cardiovascular effects of coffee consumption.”

Among the participants, 22pc were non-coffee drinkers, and 58pc drank between up to three cups a day.

The others drank at least three cups, according to the study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Results showed those who drank between 0.5-3 cups per day were 12pc less likely to die, compared to non-coffee drinkers by the end of the study.

Meanwhile, they were 17pc less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 21pc less likely to have a stroke compared to non-coffee drinkers.

They were also less likely to be diabetic than zero-coffee drinkers.

As caffeine is an appetite suppressant researchers think it could lead to lower rates of obesity, and its health-related conditions.

The quarter of the group who consumed instant coffee, did not have any health benefits, as instant coffee contains more caffeine, antioxidants and twice the amount of acrylamide - a substance found in some foods that has been linked with increased risk of cancer and nervous system damage.

Researchers believe the positive effect of coffee could by explained by changes in the heart structure among those who consumed the caffeinated drink.

They examined cardiovascular MRI scans, available for 30,000 participants, and saw signs that those who drank coffee had healthier hearts.

Those who consumed a moderate or high amount of coffee had larger ventricles, meaning they could pump out more blood.

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