A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of mortality.
In this project, scientists examined more than 170,000 people over a period of 7 years. All participants did not have cancer or cardiovascular disease at baseline.
During this period, researchers assessed the consumption of coffee in all participants, noting whether they drank unsweetened, artificially sweetened, or sugar-sweetened coffee. After that, they looked into the link between mortality risk from all causes as well as from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
All sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors were taken into account. It was found that around 50 percent of coffee drinkers consumed unsweetened coffee. Those people who consumed sweetened coffee added no more than 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.
The results showed that moderate consumption of coffee, either sweetened or unsweetened, was linked to a lowered risk of mortality. Nevertheless, the findings were not consistent.
More specifically, drinking around 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee per day seemed to reduce mortality risk by up to 30 percent. This indicates that coffee drinkers may continue consuming this beverage without worrying about any harmful effects.
The authors noted that previous research had found this association. Nevertheless, they did not differentiate the difference between coffee with and without added artificial sweeteners or sugar.
This research, however, had some drawbacks to consider. Scientists noted that the study did not take into account potential changes in the consumption of sweeteners or changes in coffee consumption over time. In addition, all participants reported the amount of coffee they consumed as well as other dietary components on their own. This might increase the likelihood of errors.
Another problem is that the authors gathered data for coffee consumption from an extensive database of medical health information from individuals in the United Kingdom. These people do not represent the whole population. Therefore, the study’s findings do not lead to the conclusion that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of death.
Scientists also noticed that the number of people consuming artificial sweeteners was very small. Therefore, the probability of confounding could be much higher. In addition, it was more difficult to notice any considerable links in this group. And last but not least, the research had a quite short follow-up period, making it harder to notice particular links with certain causes of death.
It is important to note that the findings did not apply to several coffee beverages with large amounts of sweeteners or sugar.