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J Nutr. 2016 Jul;146(7):1373-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.230490. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Coffee Consumption Is Positively Associated with Longer Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Nurses' Health Study.

Author information

1
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Rockville, MD;
2
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Departments of Epidemiology and.
3
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
4
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Departments of Epidemiology and nhidv@channing.harvard.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Coffee is an important source of antioxidants, and consumption of this beverage is associated with many health conditions and a lower mortality risk. However, no study, to our knowledge, has examined whether varying coffee or caffeine consumption levels are associated with telomere length, a biomarker of aging whose shortening can be accelerated by oxidative stress.

OBJECTIVE:

We performed a large comprehensive study on how coffee consumption is associated with telomere length.

METHODS:

We used data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), a prospective cohort study of female nurses that began in 1976. We examined the cross-sectional association between coffee consumption and telomere length in 4780 women from the NHS. Coffee consumption information was obtained from validated food-frequency questionnaires, and relative telomere length was measured in peripheral blood leukocytes by the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Unconditional logistic regression was used to obtain ORs when the telomere length outcome was dichotomized at the median. Linear regression was used for tests of trend with coffee consumption and telomere length as continuous variables.

RESULTS:

Higher total coffee consumption was significantly associated with longer telomeres after potential confounding adjustment. Compared with non-coffee drinkers, multivariable ORs for those drinking 2 to <3 and ≥3 cups of coffee/d were, respectively, 1.29 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.68) and 1.36 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.78) (P-trend = 0.02). We found a significant linear association between caffeine consumption from all dietary sources and telomere length (P-trend = 0.02) after adjusting for potential confounders, but not after additionally adjusting for total coffee consumption (P-trend = 0.37).

CONCLUSIONS:

We found that higher coffee consumption is associated with longer telomeres among female nurses. Future studies are needed to better understand the influence of coffee consumption on telomeres, which may uncover new knowledge of how coffee consumption affects health and longevity.

KEYWORDS:

caffeine; coffee; decaffeinated coffee; epidemiology; telomere; telomere length

PMID:
27281805
PMCID:
PMC4926853
DOI:
10.3945/jn.116.230490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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