Can drinking coffee really make you live longer?

 

Did you see Thursday’s headlines about coffee cutting the risk of death, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and all sorts?! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true? Wouldn’t it indeed...

For this week’s note (Full unpack below) I’ve looked at the full BMJ article to save you the bother and I’ve picked out what you need to know. In a nutshell:

* This was an excellent review – it reviewed the best evidence available and presented it in the most robust way

* The research included intervention trials (when one group of people consumes coffee and the other group doesn’t or when one group consumes lots of coffee and the other group not as much). These studies can lead to the conclusion that drinking coffee causes something to happen. Or in this case, causes something not to happen – e.g. not as many deaths. However, none of the intervention trials looked at deaths or diagnosis of disease. They looked at what we call “surrogate end points” – blood pressure, cholesterol – things that are supposed to be markers for disease, but they don’t represent disease itself

 

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