“Three cups of coffee a day keeps the HIV away,” may actually prove to be prudent advice to those who are co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV). We've been told that coffee consumption can lead to heart disease, but that may no longer be the case. We've also been told that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet will make you live longer, but turns out that isn't true, either. Coffee, the drink that over half of American adults drink daily, is also anti-inflammatory, a liver protector and one of nature's medicines. Coffee can also halve mortality rates in those co-infected with HIV/HCV, according to new research. Moderate coffee consumption can also increase the lifespan of HIV/HCV patients.
The new study was recently published in the Journal of Hepatology. The findings were put together by lead researcher Dominique Salmon-Céron, Ph.D from the Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Cochin, and Université Paris Descartes based in France.
“Drinking three or more cups of coffee per day halves all-cause mortality risk in patients co-infected with HIV-HCV,” researchers wrote about the study. “The benefits of coffee extracts and supplementing dietary intake with other anti-inflammatory compounds need to be evaluated in this population.” All-cause mortality means all deaths that occur in a population regardless of cause.
Dr. Salmon-Céron and his associates analyzed 1,028 adults who took part in an ongoing French study on patients co-infected with HIV/HCV. Each year, participants would fill out a questionnaire about various HCV-related questions. About 26.6 percent of participants said they drink at least three cups of coffee each day. The risk of death from all causes was slashed 80 percent in individuals who eradicated HCV. Quitting smoking reduced risks even more. The team found that drinking at least three cups of coffee daily was associated with a 50 percent drop in all-cause mortality risk. This can be explained by coffee's anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) abilities. The lifespan of co-infected individuals, no doubt, hinges upon liver health, among other factors.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) quietly erased coffee off its possible carcinogen list. Even WebMD lists the benefits of coffee. Naturally-occurring caffeine is found in yerba mate, black tea, green tea, guarana, matcha and chocolate, and is helped innumerable cultures increase work ethic.
When it comes to caffeine and other drugs, nature knows best. Coffee doesn't just contain caffeine, like energy drinks. It also contains methylxathines and vitamins that prevent a sudden rise and crash in your bloodstream. This balance of natural elements is what creates the steady boost you get from coffee.
According to other studies, coffee can increase the lifespan of an individual. In 2015, a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation suggests that moderate coffee consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's cirrosis, gout and neurological diseases in nonsmokers. Cigarette smokers, unfortunately, have little benefit given the effects of tobacco that negate health progress. Participants who regularly drank less than five cups of coffee per day experienced a lower risk of deaths linked to diabetes, heart disease and neurological diseases. Data was assessed from three other ongoing studies that dates back up to 30 years. But coffee's protective benefits can easily be erased from tobacco and alcohol, researchers said.
The health benefits of coffee are great news for those who are co-infected with both HIV and HCV. About one-quarter of those infected with HIV are also infected with HCV. Co-infection with HCV increases the mortality risk of patients who progress to AIDS by 50 percent—and that's a staggering number. Pharmaceutical medicine is mandatory and can do wonders—but natural medicines, including everyday coffee, should not be ignored.
Coffee may not be the heart disease-inducing vice it's been cracked out to be all these years, after all. It's health benefits are not only fascinating, but are amusing given the way coffee is perceived in society. The study's researchers suggest that coffee extracts need to be looked in a clinical setting for HIV/HCV co-infection research.