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Daily coffee is good for you, studies say

LIHUE — Maybe a coffee addiction isn’t so bad.

According to two studies published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” Monday, coffee drinkers live longer.

Both studies examined the health histories of over 100,000 people who were tracked over the better part of a decade.

That’s got Kapaa resident Sutafe Bogale rethinking his efforts to reduce his dependence on caffeine.

“I used to drink it everyday, like hardcore everyday,” Bogale said. “I’d make it at home and drink it here (at Starbucks) but I’ve cut back a lot, I don’t know why. But maybe I should drink more now because of these new stats.”

One study, led by Veronica W. Setiawan of the University of Southern California and funded by the National Cancer Institute, examined coffee-drinking habits of more than 180,000 whites, African-Americans, Latinos, Japanese-Americans and native Hawaiians for an average of 16 years.

The other study was conducted by European scientists from Imperial College London and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, led by Marc J. Gunter of the IARC.

Setiawan’s study found those drinking one cup of coffee daily had a 12 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory and kidney diseases. For those drinking three cups a day, the risk reduction rose to 18 percent.

Lauren Louks, Kapaa resident, drinks coffee everyday and was surprised to hear about the study’s results. While she continues to drink one cup per day, she’s not confident that drinking coffee is really that beneficial for a person’s health.

“It’s OK in moderation, but you definitely can’t drink too much of it,” Louks said.

She added that without drinking coffee, she feels tired and has less energy to get her day going. A boost of energy is what keeps her consuming the beverage, and the same goes for Bogale.

Bogale said he drinks one to two cups of coffee per day, but relies on the drink for more than just its caffeine.

“But I like coffee because it’s two-fold: The flavor of a good cup of coffee and a good bean is something special to me,” he said. “And it gives me energy, it was a morning ritual for me for a long time. I don’t wake up that way anymore, really needing coffee. But I enjoy it more now as a beverage.”

Known for its stimulant effect, coffee can make or break a person’s day. Just ask Lihue resident Kailee Kelekoma, who drinks at least two cups of coffee per day.

“I’ve drank coffee since I was pretty young and haven’t stopped since,” she said. “I’ve honestly tried to stop at one point because it’s a lot of money, and I did get migraines and stuff from it but I don’t think it’s bad for you. Some people say it stunts your growth, but not for me.”

But too much of a good thing can make you sick, as the study explains.

For people with slow metabolism who drank four or more cups of regular coffee a day, they experienced a 36 percent greater risk of nonfatal heart attacks. But for individuals with fast metabolizers who drank that same amount of coffee, their risk of having a heart attack was reduced.

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