Individuals who drink 1.5 to 3.5 litres of coffee per day, with or without sugar, had a lower risk of death than adults who do not drink coffee at all, according to a recent research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Previous research on the health impacts of coffee has revealed that it is linked to a decreased risk of mortality, but did not differentiate between unsweetened coffee and coffee with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Researchers from Guangzhou’s Southern Medical University utilised data from the UK Biobank study’s health behaviour questionnaire to look at the links between sugar-sweetened, artificially sweetened, and unsweetened coffee intake and overall and cause-specific death.
To determine coffee drinking patterns, more than 171,000 people in the UK without known heart disease or cancer were asked a series of dietary and health behaviour questionnaires. The researchers discovered that people who drank any amount of unsweetened coffee were 16 to 21% less likely to die over the 7-year follow-up period than those who did not.
Sweetened Coffee helps
They also discovered that those who consumed 1.5 to 3.5 cups of sugar-sweetened coffee were 29 to 31% less likely to die than those who did not drink coffee. Adults who drank sugar-sweetened coffee added just around 1 teaspoon of sugar per cup of coffee, according to the authors. Participants who drank coffee with artificial sweeteners had unclear results.
Any accompanying editorial by the editors of Annals of Internal Medicine notes that while coffee has qualities that could make health benefits possible, confounding variables including more difficult to measure differences in socioeconomic status, diet, and other lifestyle factors may impact findings. The authors add that the participant data is at least 10 years old and collected from a country where tea is a similarly popular beverage.
They caution that the average amount of daily sugar per cup of coffee recorded in this analysis is much lower than specialty drinks at popular coffee chain restaurants, and many coffee consumers may drink it in place of other beverages that make comparisons to non-drinkers more difficult. Based on this data, clinicians can tell their patients that there is no need for most coffee drinkers to eliminate the beverage from their diet but to be cautious about higher calorie specialty coffees.
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