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COFFEE BUZZ: STUDY FINDS JAVA DRINKERS LIVE LONGER
MILWAUKEE — One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter.
The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm.
“Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking.”
No one knows why. Coffee contains a thousand things that can affect health, from helpful antioxidants to tiny amounts of substances linked to cancer. The most widely studied ingredient — caffeine — didn’t play a role in the new study’s results.
It’s not that earlier studies were wrong. There is evidence that coffee can raise LDL, or bad cholesterol, and blood pressure at least short-term, and those in turn can raise the risk of heart disease.
CAFFEINE LINKED TO LOWER SKIN CANCER RISK
Coffee fanatics are less likely to develop the most common type of skin cancer, a new study found.
The study of nearly 113,000 men and women found those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of basal cell carcinoma than those who said no to Joe.
“I think we’re seeing more and more evidence for the beneficial effects of coffee consumption,” said study author Jiali Han, associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, explaining that java has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. “I wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee solely based on this work, but it does add one more thing to the list.”
The study, published today in the journal Cancer Research, sheds new light on a skin cancer that affects 2.8 million Americans each year.