Coffee Lowers Death Risk, Boosts Weight Loss, & Battles Depression: Here’s How Much Coffee Benefits Most

Coffee lowers your death risk, but in order to benefit, you need to know just how much coffee is the ideal amount. A new study provides the answer while showing that coffee lowers the risk of some types of cancer while improving the health of your liver and brain, reported UPI.

Just a cup a day won’t do it, however. The researchers have determined that sipping three to five cups of coffee daily lowers premature death risks, based on analyzing information from over 200,000 health professionals. Moreover, for those who can’t give up their habit of smoking cigarettes, the consumption of coffee made even more of a difference.

What’s significant in the study indicating that coffee lowers death risk enhances other research that revealed the beverage also can boost the odds of surviving colon cancer, help with liver damage resulting from too much alcohol, and benefit the brain for those who are older.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” explained Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “That could explain some of our findings.”

The doctoral student noted that additional research is required to comprehend the precise biological mechanisms that provide those benefits. But one helpful discovery for those who get the jitters from too much coffee: Decaf coffee also lowers premature death risk, said the researchers.

To conduct the study, Harvard researchers analyzed information extracted from 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, 93,054 women in the Nurses’ Health Study 2, and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The human guinea pigs filled out questionnaires about their diets for 30 years at four-year intervals. The resulting data gave the researchers the information they needed on how drinking coffee can affect the health.

Those who gulped down 3.1 to five cups of coffee daily lowered their death risk by 7 percent. Those who sipped 1.1 to three cups of coffee daily benefited with a 9 percent lower risk of dying. However, less is more when it comes to those who go for over five cups daily because they increased their death risk by 2 percent.

“We’re not sure exactly how coffee is [linked] to all these benefits,” revealed Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard. “The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals. And my guess is that they’re working together to have some of these benefits. We [see] similar benefits from caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. That’s important, because it suggests that caffeine is not responsible for [the benefit].”

If you’re thinking that associating coffee with death isn’t exactly perking up your mood, coffee also has been shown to boost weight loss, according to Jillian Michaels’ website.

“Some studies have shown that drinking coffee with caffeine may slightly increase weight loss or in actuality prevent weight gain by suppressing the appetite or the desire to eat,” revealed registered dietitian Kathy Taylor. “It may also help with calorie burning by stimulating thermogenesis–our body’s way of generating heat from metabolizing food. Ultimately caffeine acts like a diuretic causing us to have water loss so there is a temporary decrease in body weight.”

In addition, coffee can sometimes help to suppress the appetite temporarily, reducing overall caloric intake. Kathy suggests drinking two cups of coffee daily prior to noon to avoid insomnia.

But if you’re seeking yet another reason to steer your car to the nearest coffee shop, researchers also have found that coffee can battle depression, reported Prevention.

The study determined that those who consume at least four cups of coffee daily are 10 percent less apt to feel depressed. And it’s not the caffeine since cola drinks contain caffeine but do not provide that relief from sadness. Instead, the reduction in depression that can result from coffee is due to its antioxidants, according to head researcher Honglei Chen, PhD., who is an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]