TUESDAY, May 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) — People who take their coffee with a little cream and sugar have reason to celebrate, from a health perspective.
A new study shows that the potential health benefits of coffee persist, even if you add a little sugar to your java.
People who drink any amount of unsweetened coffee are 16-21% less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t, according to data from more than 171,000 UK participants without heart disease or known cancers.
And even people who took their coffee with sugar saw health benefits, the researchers found.
Sweet coffee drinkers who drank an average of 1.5 to 3.5 cups a day were 29% to 31% less likely to die during an average follow-up of seven years than non-coffee drinkers, according to the results published on May 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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“On average, even when your coffee is a little sweet, it still seems to be potentially beneficial and at least not harmful,” said Dr. Christina Wee, the journal’s associate editor, who wrote an accompanying editorial for the study.
Don’t rush to order this caramel macchiato just yet, though — study participants tended to add modest amounts of sugar to their brew, experts noted.
On average, people put about 1 teaspoon of sugar in each cup of coffee, said Wee and Anthony DiMarino, registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.
“It’s only about 16 extra calories, which isn’t significant,” said DiMarino, who wasn’t involved in the study. “In contrast, most specialty coffees contain hundreds of calories from sugars and fats.”
For this study, a team led by Dr. Chen Mao from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, analyzed dietary data provided by participants to the UK Biobank, a database containing information on the health of a half a million people in the UK.
The participants were followed for an average of seven years to see if coffee consumption affected their overall risk of death, as well as their risk of death from cancer or heart disease.
Researchers found that unsweetened coffee reduced participants’ risk of death regardless of how much they drank, with a “sweet spot” of maximum benefit of around 2.5 to 3.5 cups per day. .
Sweetened coffee also had health benefits, as long as the person drank less than 4 cups a day. People who drank more than 4.5 cups of sugary coffee a day had a small increase in their risk of premature death.
Sweetened or unsweetened, coffee also appears to consistently reduce the risk of death from specific causes such as cancer or heart disease, the researchers found.
According to experts, there are many theories as to why coffee might be good for your health.
“Coffee contains nearly 1,000 botanical compounds, most of which have yet to be studied,” DiMarino said. “Coffee provides nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, and riboflavin, which are essential for good health. In addition, coffee provides different anti-inflammatory compounds, which help reduce our risk of cancer.”
Finally, he added, coffee has been shown to improve alertness, memory and mental function. “These effects would definitely help us be more aware and make fewer mistakes,” DiMarino said.
Wee noted that coffee also contains chlorogenic acids, which have a blood-thinning effect. This could potentially prevent heart attacks or strokes caused by clots.
Other research teams are investigating ways in which coffee could help people by improving gut health, improving fat storage efficiency and protecting the liver, said Mount Sinai Morningside cardiologist Dr Alan Rozanski. At New York.
“These are pathways that are being elucidated and we need more work to define them, but the interactions are there and there are good solid reasons to understand why this drink is good for your health,” said Rozanski, who was not part of the study.
Still, Wee noted, doctors remain somewhat concerned about the caffeine in coffee, which can raise your heart rate and alter your metabolism in other concerning ways.
“But we have studies that show that if you’re a regular drinker of caffeinated coffee, your body kind of develops a tolerance,” she said. “When you start drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, you may have a more pronounced physiological response. But after a while, as with all things, your body sort of acclimates, it doesn’t therefore does not appear that harm from moderate amounts of coffee consumption persists.”
At the same time, a study like this shouldn’t cause people who don’t like coffee to start drinking it, Wee added.
“We can cautiously conclude that there doesn’t seem to be any harm, and so if you’re already a coffee drinker, no need to switch,” Wee said. “Now whether or not you should start drinking coffee to reap its benefits is less certain.”
The Cleveland Clinic says more about the health benefits of coffee.
SOURCES: Christina Wee, MD, MPH, associate editor, Annals of Internal Medicine; Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, registered dietitian, Cleveland Clinic Center for Human Nutrition; Alan Rozanski, MD, cardiologist, Mount Sinai Morningside, New York; Annals of Internal MedicineMay 30, 2022
Sweetened and unsweetened coffee.pdf
Originally published on consumer.healthday.com, as part of TownNews Content Exchange.