Coffee, a new aid for postmenopausal women
Coffee, the second most popular drink in the world may also be one of the most healthy. The
help save postmenopausal women's hearts.
A 15-year study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows fewer deaths
from heart disease or other non-cancerous inflammatory diseases for postmenopausal women
who reported drinking at least one to three daily cups of coffee.
Coffee is a major dietary source of antioxidants, which may curb inflammation and heart
disease, write Andersen and colleagues, stressing that their findings need to be confirmed.
The study conducted by researchers from the nutrition department at Norway's University of
Oslo included 27,312 postmenopausal women who took part in the Iowa Women's Health
When the study began in 1986, participants were 55-69 years old and hadn't been diagnosed
with conditions including heart disease, diabetes, or cancer (except for skin cancer).
The women completed a 127-item survey about their daily coffee consumption, cigarette and
alcohol use, and other health habits (including diet and exercise). None of the women were
asked to drink more or less coffee or change anything else in their lives for the study's sake.
They were followed for 15 years. During that time, a total of 1,411 participants died of heart
disease, 1,733 died of cancer, and 1,211 died of other diseases.
The women who had reported drinking one to three daily cups of coffee (or more) at the
study's start were less likely to have died of heart disease or other inflammatory diseases (but
not cancer) during the study.
Women who reported drinking one to three daily cups of coffee at the study's start were 24
per cent less likely to die of heart disease during the study, compared with those who didn't
Women who reported drinking one to three daily cups of coffee at the study's start were also
28 per cent less likely to die of other non-cancerous inflammatory diseases, compared with
those who didn't drink coffee, the study shows.
Cancer deaths did not show any association with coffee consumption.
Those results are adjusted for other factors and "were not repeated for other beverages,
including tea, fruit juice, sugar-sweetened drinks, diet soda, and skim, low-fat, and whole
milk," write Andersen and colleagues.
The researchers call for caution in interpreting the results explaining that the study doesn't
prove that coffee consumption was solely responsible for the findings.
The data also doesn't show antioxidant levels in the women's coffee.
In conclusion, the researchers say results are consistent with a protective effect of intake of
one to three cups of coffee per day on total death and death from cardiovascular and other
inflammatory diseases in a group of postmenopausal women.
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