COFFEE Coffee coffee coffee…

Well, that explains a lot….

In coffee news, looks like having a few cups a day, decaff or caffeinated, correlates with less dying. Why is left unclear, but attributed to the antioxidants. One would think it might also be that improved reflexes and alertness leads to fewer “AwShit” moments and that folks who caffeinated heavily in early life got jobs with more desk time and less shovel time… but that decaff also does the job argues against that.

Drinking three cups of coffee a day ‘could help you live longer’

Researchers are urging non-coffee drinkers to take up the habit

Francesca Gillett
Tuesday 11 July 2017 08:22 BST

Drinking three cups of coffee a day could help you live longer, two major scientific studies have shown.

In what has been called the clearest evidence yet of coffee’s so-called “elixir effect”, researchers in Europe and the US found coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death.

Men who downed at least three cups of coffee a day were 18 per cent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers.

Women drinking the same amount benefited less but saw an eight per cent drop in risk of death.

More than 680,000 people across the globe were studied by scientists in the two pieces of research.

Irrespective of ethnicity, people who drank two to three cups of coffee daily had an 18 per cent reduced risk of death.

In the past the results linking coffee to life expectancy have varied, although many have extolled the health benefits of the coffee bean.

BST time zone? British Summer Time per my web search. Who knew? (Likely everyone in or interacting with Britain ;-) I’d have thought “Standard” time, but Summer is nicer… While feeling the urge to wander over Eurasian Time Zones and learn their quirks of naming I think I’ll resist…

Hmmmm…. 3 cups a day? Guess I picked a bad time to cut back to one… OK, you convinced me, time for a second…

Two studies, so unlikely to be one guy with a “thing” about coffee.

Men benefit more than women. Why? I wonder… Men have more heart attacks and pop off earlier, adding caffeine is generally held to be a Bad Idea for folks with heart issues. Is it hormonal related, or habit related? More men smokers in Europe benefiting more from antioxidants or??? Yet women still benefit.

680 K people? So most likely a meta-study of their histories. This would mean it might be a statistical selection bias. I know many doctors (at least for a while “back when”) would tell patients “with issues” to cut out drinking and coffee. Perhaps it is just finding that folks with diagnosed circulatory disease were told to lay off the coffee?

Interestingly each of the latest studies, both published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, showed no advantage from drinking either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.

Previous research has suggested that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and some cancers. Earlier this year researchers found coffee could be a more effective pain-relief than ibuprofen or morphine.

That pain relief phrase is a live link in the original and links to this story:

It basically advocates for an extra hour of sleep as helping reduce pain, then coffee in the morning to get you started (and maybe moderate pain a bit more). Oddly, that’s more or less how I’ve lived just because it happens that way. I go to sleep when done with the day, sleep till I wake up, then caffeinate until functional ;-) Never been a morning person, so often had to get employers to understand that an 8 AM start time was not good for them, either.

Coffee and more sleep better pain relief than traditional painkillers, study claims

Sean Morrison
Tuesday 9 May 2017 09:44 BST

Sleeping or drinking coffee could be more effective ways of relieving pain than ibuprofen or morphine drugs, a study suggests.

Tests on mice showed if deprived of sleep they felt discomfort more, but that their ability to endure pain increased when injected with drugs including caffeine.

Harvard Medical School’s study found that the jabs were more effective at alleviating suffering than traditional painkillers, the Sun reports.

Researchers at the top American university deprived the rodents of sleep by entertaining them with toys, as a way of simulating a human staying up late.

They said the tests suggest that people suffering from ailments like arthritis and migraines may also benefit from as little as an extra one hour of sleep each night.

Harvard professor Clifford Woolf said a cup of coffee or two may also help, and that a lack of sleep can make pain worse.

He said: “A cup of coffee or a good sleep will not cure the disease but it may make the pain more bearable.

“People often stay up late watching TV, reading or playing computer games. Our study suggests this lack of sleep may make pain worse.

Again “the usual” knock on people who stay up late. Hey, “Clue Stick Time”: It doesn’t matter how late you stay up, it matters how long after sleepy time when you get up. Just Sleep In! (damn it…)

(Yes, I’ve spent most of my life fighting the Morning Nazis who think you MUST get up early and MUST go to sleep at sundown. It is just as effective to stay up to 3 AM and then sleep until noon… FWIW, folks with a natural biological clock of under 24 hours are morning people, and folks with longer than 24 hours are night people. NASA study I was in … My clock is 24.5 on ‘free run’ with no light cues. My max body temp comes mid afternoon and my lowest just about the time folks want me to get up for an ‘early start’ thus assuring my least productive state. The guy with a 23 hour clock was ‘hottest’ at mid morning and by late afternoon was dropping temp – and function- but was already warming up at 4 AM while sleeping. It is an innate biological state and not subject to your bosses whim about “your best hours”…)

But OK, make sure you sleep enough and then get a coffee starter and you feel better… Wait, didn’t I already know that? ;-)

Back at the first story:

Dr Marc Gunter, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, who led the European study with colleagues from Imperial College London, said: “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases.

“Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”

The US researchers also looked at death rates over a period of 16 years. A quarter of participants drank two to three cups of coffee per day and seven per cent consumed four or more cups.

People who drank one cup of coffee daily were 12 per cent less likely to die than those who drank no coffee, the results showed. Drinking two to three cups of coffee reduced the chances of death by 18 per cent.

Lead author Dr Veronica Setiawan, from the University of Southern California, said: “We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association. If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

So we have a pointer at circulatory and digestive causes. I’m again wondering about the degree of self selection vs prior medical advice… Would be nice to see that addressed (but I’m too far behind on things ATM to do that digging, so it is a Dig Here!).

Consistent across Europe, and shows up in America too, so differing medical systems and practices not showing anything… that’s good. Dose proportional response too. 18% is a fairly big number and not down in the noise. OK, looks like I picked the wrong day to cut out Starbucks (though maybe I’ll get that home Espresso Machine after all ;-)

5 cups a day? Now if just 5 cups a day walked in and sat down and started singing… (Oblique reference to Alice’s Restaurant… maybe that 3rd cup of coffee this morning is too much… but the article said… )

Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reduce chances of liver cancer by half, scientists reveal

Chloe Chaplain
Thursday 25 May 2017 13:42 BST

Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reduce your chances of liver cancer by half, scientists have revealed.

Experts from Southampton and Edinburgh universities have suggested that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer.

And even decaffeinated coffee can have a protective effect, they found.

Scientists examined data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants, publishing their findings in the British Medical Journal.

Liver cancer? Well, look, if it was cirrhosis I’d be much more impressed and then Irish Coffee sales would skyrocket… but OK, cutting cancer in half is a good one too, I guess…

Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing HCC.

Those who consumed two cups had a 35 per cent reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved.

They even noted a protective effect for decaf, but added that this was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”.

Again with the dose proportional… and the decaff process reduces “whatever it is” somewhat.

In Conclusion

Well, guess it’s OK to kiss off the coffee guilt. Now if I can just get my Starbucks Bill accepted as a medical deduction on my taxes I may never pay tax again ;-)

I’m also going to be promoting Irish Coffee from “occasional” to my “preferred” list as a drink of choice.

Now, how to space it out… 2 for breakfast and one each with lunch and dinner? Hmmm…. I think some experimentation required… And then we have the question of “drip” (apparently now called “pour over” per my son who ‘corrected’ me for calling it ‘drip’) vs French Press vs Espresso vs… This could take a LOT of experimentation ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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27 Responses to COFFEE Coffee coffee coffee…

  1. Zeke says:

    “Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”…2.25 million participants…etc.”

    You know, it is probably not a coincidence that the drinks we share with company around the world are caffeinated. In Africa there is a drink made from Kola nuts, and India and China have perfected tea; coffee is served around the world, and even some soda pops have caffeine.

    Chocolate does not have appreciable caffeine, but the methylxanthine is very invigorating! May you all always have plenty in your pantry for you and yours and for guests when they pop by.

  2. thor47 says:

    … researchers in Europe and the US found coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death.
    Men who downed at least three cups of coffee a day were 18 per cent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers.
    Ah, no. Death is still one to a customer no matter how much coffee you drink. But you are more likely to be awake when you get there. :-)

  3. David A says:

    Hum,? as I have cut back on coffee, I may choose to reconsider.

    At any rate starbucks will not recieve my funds as they have choosen to be political activists.
    There are plenty of small private places nearby.

  4. gary turner says:

    “And then we have the question of “drip” (apparently now called “pour over” per my son who ‘corrected’ me for calling it ‘drip’) vs French Press vs Espresso vs… This could take a LOT of experimentation ;-) ”
    Yeah, I get that, too, about drip. It comes down (I think) to how the water gets in the grounds; Mr Coffee style or hand pouring. I go with drip either way.

    Don’t forget percolators, vacuum pots and boiled (cowboy) coffee, all of which give you a coffee superior to the press or drip in flavor, mouth feel and aroma.

    I will apparently live forever as I have drunk 5-8 cups per day since I was 18 or 19 years old (72 now).


  5. Rhoda Klapp says:

    Never saw a treatment, medical or ‘alternative’ that decreased your chance of death..

  6. philjourdan says:

    Guess I will have to get out more as the only time I drink coffee (decaf) is when I eat breakfast out.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    My free run cycle is probably closer to 26 hours, although I have never bothered to formally test it, but if I go off normal day time queues, my body clock creeps about 2 hours a day.

    My body temp peaks about 4:30 in the afternoon, and according to my body temp I am asleep at 10:00 am (probably why I have always worked night or swing shifts if given the opportunity.

    When I get home from work at 11:00 pm I want to do projects as that is my after dinner period most people would have from about 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, mine would be from 11:00 pm to about 2:00 am if I had no specific reason to get up.

    On my days off I often sleep in to 10:00 – 11:00 in the morning and don’t go to sleep until about 2:00 – 3:00 am.

    I never drink coffee (gives me horrible acid indigestion) so will pass on that.

  8. Steven Fraser says:

    Combining multi threads for a moment, the combination of naps, coffee, programming and freeform work schedule seems to work well for me, especially when I have a big stack-o-work to get done over a week-end. Yummy!

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    Related to the sleep cycle, perhaps varying sleep schedules is a survival adaptation?

  10. cdquarles says:

    Wait a cotton pickin’ minute. I’ve heard this story years ago. This shows just how susceptible to fads medical arts is. Coffee bad, do, coffee good. Saturated fats bad, no, good, no, bad, no, good. The only unhealthy diet is the one that makes you sick. There is a lot more in-built variation than generally recognized.

  11. cdquarles says:

    I guess that I am full sunlight sensitive, since I tend to wake with the sun throughout the year (yeah, daylight time helps me ;), imagine that) even though I might not get up. I can also get by with variable amounts of sleep, but 7 hours is optimal. Fewer than 6 isn’t good for me and more than 8 isn’t ether. If I have several days of short sleep, I will have to have one or two long sleep periods to get be back on track. I try to go to sleep and get up at the same hours each day. I can adjust, if needed, so shift work never bothered me much. I just need a few days to shift the cycle.

  12. Steve C says:

    If Gary Turner should live forever, then the amount of coffee I knock back most days shouild result in me becoming several hours younger each day …

    Yeah, “British Summer Time” is the local name for your “Daylight Saving Time” and equally inefficient at actually saving time or giving you more daylight. The annual BST ritual goes roughly like this:

    Step 1: End of March / early April (i.e. a little on the summer side of the equinox) – BST starts.
    Step 2: Everyone pretends it’s an hour later than it is for a few months. (“Ooh, isn’t it nice that it’s still light at “10 o’clock” on summer evenings” … )
    Step 3: The autumnal equinox passes. BST still in effect.
    Step 4: End of October (i.e. 5 or 6 weeks, well on the winter side, of the equinox) – BST ends. Unfortunately, at UK latitudes, sunset is about 4:40pm at that time of year, so inevitably when the kids go back to school after their half-term holiday the traffic accident rate rises, because suddenly the little darlings are going home in darkness and haven’t got used to it yet.
    Step 5: Cue the (equally inevitable) annual chorus of Summer Time Drones in Nov / Dec, chirruping “Why not leave the clocks on BST / European Central Time all year round? It would be safer. (“Think of the children!“)
    Step 6: Cue the annual chorus of Scots pointing out that if they had to use summer time in the winter, the sun wouldn’t rise until 10am or so.
    And so back to Step 1 …

    Me, I use GMT exclusively. It’s what the time is in Greenwich’s homeland, an’ d’you know what? I still end up with exactly the same amount of daylight as those around me, all year round, with no faffing about!

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gary Turner:

    Proper cowboy coffee is never boiled… that makes it bitter.

    Cowboy Coffee:

    Put a few cups of water in a traditional enameled tin coffee pot.
    Bring to the boil.
    Remove top, toss in coffee: a tbs or so per cup (or a trained handfull per pot), put top back on.
    WAIT. The grounds start out floating, but saturate then sink to the bottom.
    Gently pour coffee into cup, tilting slowly, so grounds stay settled.

    Done properly, the water is about 210 to 208 F when the coffee hits the water, the ideal temperature for a flavourful yet mellow cup!

    Drink it all before it gets too cold, or set it near, but not over, the fire to hold warm, but never reboil. When you get to the bottom and hit grounds, time for a new pot, or chew the grounds if thats the last in your grub bag.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    For a while I used GMT for my car clocks, since resetting them 2x a year was a PITA. Both dash analog and radio digital x 4 then just what was the mantra of magic cords to play on each various radio? Usually set a few days late as the partcular car got used and noticed and not in a hurry…

    Then some clocks died and the spouse set her radio to not show the time. Now only one car has a clock that matters, so it is local.

    You may have noticed that I’ve set the blog time zone to GMT…

    Still run GMT on my shortwave radio clock. Don’t have any watches since the phone and tablet autoset the time.

    As of now, I’m down to the two ovens in the kitchen, two VCRs, and bedroom & bath clocks as the biannual PITA time dance… the ovens usually changed a week or so late… the spouse does the bed and bath. The VCRs when the next need to record anything comes around, increasingly scarce…

    Increasingly tropical countries are dumping “savings time” as it does nothing for them; and some semitropical joining the stable time group too. In the USA, IIRC, Hawaii and non-indian Arizona are stable time. Now if just Texas and California would join in… then Florida… we could have a movement…

    Letting government and politicians control the time is just another example of things they screw up. Noon is when the sun is at zenith. Not up for legislating. Time zones help some, but the way they are gerymandered breaks even that value.

  15. cdquarles says:

    Florida’s problem is that the eastern part is not far enough east. Years ago, the Eastern time zone excluded both Georgia and Florida. The zone line passes just west of the state capitol. So which standard time do they use? Eastern, where most of the people are or Central, where the geography works best? Texas has a similar problem with the complication of the northern part being far enough north to benefit from people rising fairly close to sunrise all year. Texas is a bit too far west for Central time, yet splitting it just west of Dallas would cause trouble. I want to say that years ago that was the case for Texas, but my memory isn’t good enough. California’s problem is that its geography hurts it. All of it is far enough north that the rising close to sunrise would be a benefit. Being angled westward, though, makes timing tricky.

    Daylight time and time zones were things our Founders were considering, so the idea is as old as the nation is, and was done with commercial efficiency in mind.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Time zones were originally set up to help the rail roads (and steam ship companies) put out departure and arrival schedules that meant something. In the old west every town would set their local clocks based on local solar noon, but that got to be a problem as train passengers never knew exactly what time to show up to catch the train in an unfamiliar town. Pocket watches were expensive and most depended on things like a town clock.

    A time zone is nominally about 900 miles wide east to west, so the time zone time is accurate for the center of that zone and a little early of true solar noon on the east end and a bit late on the west end since in solar time the time changes by about 4 minutes for every 60 miles you go east or west of where you calibrated your time against the sun. (varies slightly by season as well as shown by the analemma on old globes)

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Word press broke the png link above for the analema, if you click on the broken image it will display in a new window.

  18. Verity Jones says:

    @Larry Ledwick (12 July 2017 at 5:43 am) very interesting article. Note to self – stop berating the late-sleeping teenager ;-)
    I know I’m late to this thread, but, being a big coffee fan… Life is much better with coffee, although we’ve tended to go for quality rather than quantity , easy when living <2miles from a coffee imported/roaster. I have just made a first batch of 'cold brew' coffee. I was sceptical until The Teen persuaded me in Starbucks one day. It was a revelation. Normally I like espresso, or a strong Americano with milk; this was black, iced, unsweetened, and so aromatic with low acidity and not even a hint of bitterness. I've been poor at planning ahead so only now trying a first batch to this recipe:

    If you've never seen this: 'spiders on caffeine'.

  19. Zeke says:

    Rhoda Klapp says: “Never saw a treatment, medical or ‘alternative’ that decreased your chance of death..”

    — Or how about a treatment that “increases the ability to endure pain,” like the rats in the study that have coffee, vs. the ones that don’t?

    Meanwhile, on the worldwideweb, the most popular studies show that coffee is a danger to health and that it is possible for a youth to overdose, so if you love your child you will fear coffee. Chief appears to have resonated more with the stories of the benefits of coffee.

    I have a lifetime of experience with people who go on peculiar diets, such as the orange food diet, vegetarian diet, fruitarian diet, raw food diet (including raw buffalo and raw eggs), juicing, and various miracle food diets. I regard it all as a personal mania that will hopefully pass without lasting harm and in general don’t try to interfere, because you will never get any thanks for getting between women and a trendy idea.

    One thing I do make sure to try to understand are the effects of nutritional deficiencies on animal and human bodies. The symptoms of deficiencies of sodium, iron, B12, superior proteins, calcium, magnesium, etc. match all of the symptoms of fad diseases and mental problems that people get diagnosed with, in my view. And most doctors don’t test for deficiency.

  20. cdquarles says:

    Well, Zeke, that’s because most of these expensive tests won’t have any diagnostic value, most of the time. That said, sometimes you have to insist on having these checked. Mine reviewed my history and had mine checked. I have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, so I am one for whom it is wise to check them once a decade or so. At least I may not have to have to inject B12 for the rest of my life.

  21. Zeke says:

    That’s rough.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, just glad I’m not a spider. Doesn’t look like they can hold their drugs as well :-)

    My preferred coffee is either regular drip, or mocha with whip. Honorable Mention for Irish Coffee as favorite not quite coffee…


    I’ve been on lots of screwy diets as friends and family wanted “support”. Never noticed much difference, really. All meat was harder than vegetarian. No sweets, fruits, cookies, cerial, toast, pancakes, jam, etc… got boring fast. Vegetarian is just thin on interest and rib sticking… give up BBQ? Why? In the end, I drift to semivegitarian omnivore. Some meals meatless, then a meat centered meal… like meat & potatoes style… and Asian of any sort… Eating very broadly seems to avoid issues… don’t know how some folks can be so picky about what they eat…

  23. Zeke says:

    I like how on their new diet, they never felt better, and what ails them is gone (:

    But I did almost lose my temper at some one once. In church, too. This person was saying that he and his wife were being tested for food allergies. (Because every thing is a food allergy now, as you may have heard.) So I asked what tests they ran, and he said that they inject various foods under your skin, and if you have a reaction, then that indicates an allergy. Praise God, I just raised an eyebrow and not the roof.

    Food does not belong in your epidermal layers, is all I can say about that. And if you wanted to develop a bad reaction, I expect that might be the way to go about it.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    I do have a couple of food allergies. How do I know? Not by skin test… I eat them and when something horrid happens at least twice, and then on retesting, It’s a problem.

    Corn, for example. Let’s just say I never have to buy exlax again…

    In about 1983? I had a fever of 105 and some virus… Decided to eat corn chowder. Mostly cows milk and corn, with additions. At the time, I also had a block of corn growing near my patio door. So I was also exposed to pollen and perhaps some skin scratch from the leaves. LOVED corn up to then and ate it often for 30 years…

    About a month later, had some corn and had ‘issues’ so sat in the little room a while…
    Repeat a couple of times… It’s proven.

    Now my thesis is that when your fever gets that high, the body decides ANY foreign substance is the problem, and starts making antibodies. Thus “starve a fever feed a cold”. If you search on that, you will find all kinds of folks saying it’s bunk. I can state fairly clearly it isn’t. IF you have a high fever, only eat foods you hate, not those you love!

    About 15 years later, at a hockey game, I couldn’t stand the smell of popcorn and not tasting it… “Maybe enough time has past…”. So I got ONE kernel and just sucked on it. Spitting out the solids. God it tasted good. Next day I was a bit, er, “loose”, but not too bad… Another confirmation, IMHO.

    I also have a sort of allergy to “Cow Stuff”. I’ve repeated this test a few dozen times. Slowly, over the years, it has gotten worse. The first time I had confirmation, I was in Oregon “camping” on a trip to load up on stuff and tires without sales tax… Drank a quart of milk. That night, had lung clogs and a bit of ‘creaky joints’ the next day. I’d had bronchitis of unknown cause for about a year, on and off, with maybe 5? rounds of antibiotics. On the way home late night radio had a couple of immunologists on the talk show talking about allergies and elimination diets. Their description of how symptoms showed up matched me. On getting home, I stopped “cow stuff” for 2 weeks (how long it takes for immune response to drop off) and was better. No more cough. No more creaky joints. Added back milk, cheese, beef… 3 weeks, cough returned, joints creaky. Repeat cycle a few times over a couple of years, it’s pretty much proven.

    So now I allow myself a burger or steak or ‘whatever’ cow stuff as a “one off” every few months. Not long enough to get the response going again. Goat milk, not cow milk. Everything is pretty good. I’ve gone back to using cow cheese and it seems OK, but I’m having a bit more joint discomfort from time to time. I may need to cut back / cut out the cow cheese. Cooked (melted) seems less an issue…

    I have 100% repeatability of “eat cow stuff daily” for a few weeks, get bronchitis and creaky joints, stop and in a couple of weeks be fine. Repeated maybe a dozen times now. Some deliberate, some by “falling off the wagon”.

    Skin tests? Never had one… Don’t think it is a good idea to put potential allergens under my skin and train my immune system to respond to them…

    So there you have it. That’s my POV on the whole food allergy thing.

    So next time you have a high fever, drink water (not milk) and eat stuff you hate.

  25. catweazle666 says:

    “Men who downed at least three cups of coffee a day were 18 per cent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers.”
    So I’m only 78% likely to die, that’s nice!
    And here’s me believing that I was 100.00% likely to die…
    Life is a sexually transmitted condition and is invariably fatal.
    When your number’s up you die, and up to that point not even a doctor can kill you.

  26. E.M.Smith says:


    OK, it’s been fun, but I think it is fairly clear that “18% less likely to die” in context means “from this cause” or “at that age” depending on context. I’ll happily take an 18% less likely to die (from a given cancer) much preferring to die later from a micrometeor strike on my space habitat in 2476 A.D… or even choking on a Starbucks ice cube at 138….

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