The study, conducted with over 40,000 participants over a 17 year time span, found that men and women who consumed more than 28 cups of coffee per week (4 or more cups a day) were more likely to die prematurely. Strangely enough, the effect was not seen in either men or women over the age of 55.
After revisiting the participants 17 years later, the Mayo Clinic found that 2512 deaths had occurred with 87.5% of those deaths being men ( the rest were women ).
The Study found that the correlation between heavy coffee consumption and premature death was a lot more evident in men than it was in women. 21% of heavy coffee drinking males (4 or more cups per day) had a heightened risk of premature mortality while, in women, the results were not not as conclusive.
I am sure that many of you are now confused because, like myself, you have likely come across many other studies that cite completely opposite results to the ones found by this study.
One explanation, put forth by the researchers at the Mayo Clinic, is that the majority of those studies (that disagree with their results) have been conducted on a mostly middle aged/elderly population sample, while the participants in their study spanned the entire age spectrum ( though it did not include children ).
What Causes This ?
The researchers at the Mayo Clinic have, by no means, isolated a specific substance or chemical residing in coffee that has contributed to the results in their findings. They hypothesize, however, that the adverse health effects may be related to the stimulating effect that caffeine has on epinephrine ( adrenaline ) which, through an inhibitory effect on insulin, results in the raising of blood pressure. This effect, as stated before, is a lot stronger in men than it is in women.
What do you think about this latest research into the health effects of coffee?
Let us know in the comments section below!