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Medical benefits of coffee, for real?

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POSTED: May 28, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Lovers of a cup of java first thing in the morning got an extra little pick-me-up with a report that finds that coffee drinkers tend to live longer than their non-coffee-drinking counterparts. ...

That doesn’t mean coffee has suddenly turned into a health drink, but the study of 400,000 people — the largest group ever scrutinized in this particular area — did indicate that, all things being equal, coffee drinkers were less likely to die at any given age. The results of the study, which was conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the AARP... and don’t show a direct cause-and-effect link between coffee and longer life, only an apparent relation.

Earlier studies hadn’t been quite so optimistic for java drinkers, but this one took into account other habits that coffee drinkers tend to have — smoking, alcohol and red meat consumption and less exercise. Once those variables were filtered out, the pattern emerged that indicated that each cup of coffee consumed improved the chance of living longer. ...

In an interview with The Associated Press, Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health said with the study’s size and duration — it started in 1995 — it provides the best evidence anyone’s likely to get on the effects of coffee on longevity. ...

It’s not “Jogging in a Mug” by any means, but it does give coffee lovers reason to feel that maybe it really is the best part of waking up.

May 16, Albany Herald
Online: www.albanyherald.com

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