Coffee: A Love Elixir to Save Your Life?

So I woke up this morning to the same chaotic world as always. Our boys were fighting playfully (sort of) about video games, and our daughter, in shorts and an oversized Nirvana t-shirt, was trying to convince me to let her stay home from school.

Hair wild, body stiff, and with crusties still in the corners of my eyes, I clonked down the stairs into the kitchen with only one thing on my mind: coffee. Now

It has always felt life saving to me, coffee. Every morning it feels like an elixir from God. Like the one and only thing that can make me feel, well, human again. Awake. Alive. Alert. Enthusiastic. 

And wouldn’t it be great to discover that it didn’t just feel that way, but that coffee really was an elixir from God capable of fending off disease and extending life?

Not Dying, brought to you by Coffee!

Well, it turns out it just might be! This according to results of new a peer-reviewed study, published Tuesday in The Annals of Internal Medicine. Summed up and de-jargonized, over a follow-up period of 7 years, “Compared with nonconsumers, consumers of various amounts of unsweetened coffee […] had lower risks for all-cause mortality after adjustment for lifestyle, sociodemographic, and clinical factors” of up to 30%. 

That’s right. In a study performed by researchers at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou China, drinkers of one to four cups of coffee per day, either unsweetened or lightly sweetened, were up to 30% less likely to die over the 7 year period than their non-coffee drinking counterparts. Described in this analysis by Insider, researchers “looked at data on coffee habits and health from more than 171,000 UK residents who didn’t have cancer or heart disease at the start of the study.”


Researchers were quick to note, however, that because this is an observational study, the data can’t conclusively prove it was the coffee that accounted for the lower risk of death among the control group. It may have been a combination of factors, including diet and regular exercise. But it does add significantly to what is already an intriguing body of evidence suggesting coffee is very, very good for you. Previously studied links between coffee and positive health outcomes include a lower risk of cancer, heart and liver diseases, and diabetes. 

Plus, it would seem that the morning’s second cup of coffee is just as beneficial. (Which is nice to know because, let’s face it, that second cup never seems as restorative or rejuvenating as the first magical cup.)

Summed up in this piece from The Guardian, “​​After taking into account factors including age, sex, ethnicity, educational level, smoking status, amount of physical activity, body mass index and diet, the team found that, compared with those who did not drink the brew, people who consumed unsweetened coffee had the lowest risk of death.

The greatest reduction, a 29% lower risk of death, was seen for those drinking between 2.5 and 4.5 cups a day.”

So enjoy it ground, instant, or even decaffeinated. Enjoy it plain or with a little cream and sugar. However you enjoy it, just enjoy, and we’ll enjoy too, and maybe we can clink cups and cheer “Slainte!”

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