Coffee can help you live longer, but…

According to legend, coffee was discovered by a goat herder on the Ethiopian plateau who shared his find with a local monastery.

The monks then learned to make a drink with the coffee berries to help stay awake during evening prayers.

And by the 15th and 16th centuries, coffee cultivation and trade had taken hold in the Arabian Peninsula, including Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

These days, coffee shops like Starbucks, and others, keep the coffee cups filled — much like a “coffee pharmacy” dolling out grande-sized cups of what may very well be a longevity prescription…

I’ve previously shared research on coffee’s powerful effects at warding off liver disease, mental decline, diabetes, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

I’d like to share even more great news that adds even more weight to the growing realization that coffee can help you live longer and healthier…

Coffee consumption and longer life

Two new, large observational studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine strengthened the association between higher coffee consumption and longer life.

The first study, examined the association of coffee consumption with risk for total and cause-specific death, among a multi-ethnic cohort (research in this area among non-Caucasians is sparse). The participants included 185,855 African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians between the ages of 45 and 75.

During the study time (1993-2012), 58,397 participants died. Consuming at least one cup and up to more than four cups of coffee per day was associated with lower mortality or longer life. Interestingly, the researchers found this life-extending trend to be similar whether the coffee consumed had caffeine or not. Also interesting, the association of mortality and coffee consumption was not significant among Native Hawaiians.

The researchers thus concluded that “higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death in African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites.”

Coffee and mortality in 10 European countries

In the second study another multi-national cohort study looked at coffee consumption and mortality in 10 European countries.

For the study, 521,330 participants enrolled in EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition). During the 16-year follow up, 41,693 participants had died. When compared with non-coffee drinkers, those participants who drank the most coffee daily had statistically significantly lower all-cause mortality. Evidence was promising for mortality caused by digestive disease mortality in both men and women. For women specifically, coffee consumption reduced rates of mortality linked to circulatory disease, cerebrovascular disease, and ovarian cancer.

The takeaway: “Coffee drinking was associated with reduced risk for death from various causes. This relationship did not vary by country.”

Italian brew reduces prostate cancer risk

Additionally, a recent study undertaken by Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – IRCCS (Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata) Neuromed, in Italy, and the Italian National Institute of Health and the IRCCS of Rome, on the risk-reduction benefits of coffee on prostate cancer, was published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers sought to evaluate the effects of Italian-style coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk in a population cohort of nearly 7,000 men ages 50+. Specifically, they wanted to see the effects caffeine may have on two human prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3 and DU145).  These were tested with increasing concentrations of caffeine, during which their proliferative/metastatic features were evaluated.

The result: Subjects at the highest consumption of Italian-style caffeinated coffee consumption (more than three cups daily) had 53% lower prostate cancer risk as compared to participants at the lowest consumption levels of zero to two cups daily. That is very promising news to men and their families.


More and more, coffee is showing to be a healthy beverage and liquid prescription for disease prevention and life extension by reducing risk of many diseases. So don’t think you must “give up coffee for tea” because you read that or your guru tells you so.

But, there may be one downside… and that’s that researchers don’t seem able to pin down the exact mechanisms behind coffee’s amazing benefits. So if you’re looking for an explanation, you may need to wait a while longer. Otherwise, just drink up (most experts agree that fewer than 5 cups a day is preferable), caffeinated or not… because the proof is pretty solid that a coffee habit prevents disease, reduces risk and extends life.

Editor’s note: Sometimes it can be confusing knowing what’s good for you and what’s not. Take the 38.6 million Americans who take a single drug every day that’s robbing their brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health. Are you one of them? Click here to find out!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.