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High coffee consumption 'cuts life'

Friday August 16th 2013

A person aged under 55 who drinks at least four cups of coffee a day may face a shorter life expectancy than others who do not, new research suggests.

Death rates can be increased by half in those who drink large amounts of coffee, according to scientists in the US who based their study on a large-scale lifestyle investigation involving 43,727 people aged 20-87.

They claim that younger people in particular should avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee.

Over an average period of 16 years the study recorded 2,500 deaths, of which around a third were caused by artery and heart disease.

The researchers say they found that those who drank the most coffee also tended to smoke and therefore had the least healthy heart and lungs.

Those who drank more than 28 cups of coffee in a week, appeared to have a 50% increased chance of dying from any cause.

Coffee can be good for you, but also bad for you. It is said to contain thousands of chemicals in a complex mix which affects a person's health in different ways.

Its main benefits are said to be that it is extremely rich in antioxidants, can reduce inflammation and increase brain function.

Its main drawbacks are that it increases blood pressure and homocysteine, a harmful amino acid which has been linked to dementia and heart disease. Coffee also stimulates the release of adrenalin and inhibits insulin activity.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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