By Gwyn Wright via SWNS
Adding a spoonful of sugar to a cup of coffee could be the key to a longer life, according to a new study.
Scientists have found coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of death than non-coffee drinkers but those who like the drink sweet are even less likely to die.
Researchers in China who followed a group of Brits for an average of seven years found people who drank between one and a half and three and a half cups of the caffeinated drink were less likely to die during that time than those who did not take sugar and those who do did drink coffee at all.
People who drank any amount of unsweetened coffee were up to 21 percent less likely to die than those who did not drink coffee.
Those who like their coffee sweet were up to 31 percent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers during the follow-up period if they stuck to between one and a half and three and a half cups a day.
Adults who took sugar only added one spoonful on average.
Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of dying from any cause, dying from cancer and dying from heart disease.
It didn’t matter whether people drank decaffeinated, instant or ground coffee- the results held up for them all.
Results were inconclusive for participants who added artificial sweeteners to their coffee.
Earlier research has shown the beverage puts you at a lower risk of dying but these studies did not distinguish between sweetened and unsweetened coffee.
For the study, researchers based in China looked at data about more than 171,000 Brits who took part in the UK Biobank study health behavior questionnaire.
The healthy Brits, who did not have known heart disease or cancer, were asked dietary and health questions to determine the effect of their coffee-drinking habits.
They were followed up from 2009 to 2018.
While the results, which were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, were adjusted for lifestyle, demographic and clinical factors, they do not prove drinking coffee was the reason participants were less likely to die.
The average amount of sugar participants took was much lower than the amount added to a drink in coffee chain restaurants.
But the study’s authors say that, based on their findings alone, doctors do not need to tell coffee-drinking patients to kick the habit.
Study author Dan Liu from Southern Medical University said: “Our study found that adults who drank moderate amounts of coffee sweetened with sugar every day were about 30 percent less likely to die from any cause during the average of seven-year follow up period compared to non-coffee drinkers.
“These novel findings are of clinical and public health relevance.”
Annals of Internal Medicine editorialist Dr. Christiana Wee said: “Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of dying whether or not you added sugar.
“The relationship between drinking coffee with artificial sweeteners and your risk of dying was less clear in the study.
“The authors found that drinking moderate levels of coffee regularly was associated with a lower risk of dying from any cause, dying from cancer and dying from heart disease.
“The lower risk of dying associated with moderate levels of coffee-drinking was true regardless of whether you drank decaffeinated coffee, instant coffee or ground coffee.”
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