Can’t get through the day without a couple of cups of joe? That might not be such a bad thing according to a new meta-analysis, which suggests that drinking just two cups of coffee a day could increase life expectancy by up to two years.
For many years, scientists have been studying both the positive and negative effects of caffeine on the body. A 2017 meta-analysis, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of death and developing heart disease compared to drinking no coffee at all. Coffee drinking was also associated with a lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia.
This latest meta-analysis, published in The European Journal of Epidemiology, has similar findings. In this research, scientists analyzed 40 previous studies exploring the link between coffee and mortality, including a total of 3,852,651 participants and 450,256 causes of death.
“As aging, obesity, and lifestyle factors affect the risk of mortality, the association between coffee and mortality needs to be examined in various subpopulations by characteristics of subjects,” the study authors explain.
Moderate coffee consumption of two to four cups per day was associated with reduced mortality compared to no coffee consumption. The study also found that the link between coffee and mortality was stronger in Europe and Asia than in the US.
This will all come as good news to South Africans who, research suggests, drink a fairly healthy amount of coffee each day. According to a recent report, there are roughly between five and six million coffee drinkers in SA who fuel the high-end coffee shops. In a separate survey, 36% of people asked said they had drunk one cup of instant coffee in the last day, and another 29% said they had consumed three cups or more.