Drinking coffee may boost longevity, study finds

Drinking six cups of coffee per day could cut your risks of dying early by 16%

How Much Coffee Is Good for You? Scientists Believe Drink Could Cut Risk of Death Even in Large Amounts

Research in JAMA Internal Medicine shows people who drank one cup of coffee a day had an eight percent lower risk of dying early.

The study found that people who drank at least eight cups of coffee a day had a lowered risk of some cancers and heart and lung disease.

As in previous studies, coffee drinkers were more likely than abstainers to drink alcohol and smoke, but the researchers took those factors into account, and coffee drinking seemed to cancel them out.

The researchers (who, by the way, are federal scientists, not from anything like the Starbucks Institute for Coffee Research) say there is data on diet about some of the study participants that could be mined to parse apart the difference between people who have, say, cappuccinos or lattes or espressos.

Actually caffeine can keep you more hydrated than other liquids because you are drinking it with a volume of fluid like iced coffee or tea.

Coffee contains antioxidants, substances that inhibit oxidation, especially those used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products.

When the researchers looked at the participants' genetic data, they identified four gene variations that were known to be associated with caffeine metabolism, or how the body breaks down caffeine.

They found non-coffee drinkers were more likely to have died than those that drunk coffee.

For the study, the researchers collected data on more than 500,000 people who took part in a large, long-running British study.

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The results don't prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research.

It's another piece of good news for coffee lovers, and it gets even better.

"But here's a situation where there was always some feeling of, 'Oh, can't be - I enjoy it too much, it can't be good for me.' And now we're finding out that it's good. Or at least not be bad", she said.

Past studies have indicated an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's and cancers of the liver, bowel, colon and endometrium.

During the period of the study, over 14,000 participants died.

Two to five cups, one cup per day, or less than one cup per day reduced early death rates by 12, eight and six percent, respectively. Some prior studies had suggested that people with these gene variations could be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, Loftfield said.

Adding toppings to coffee like cream, sugar and whipped cream can also vastly increase calories, and possibly negate it's positive effects.

Drawing information from the UK's Biobank data resource, which holds information on around nine million people, researchers were also able to profile British java drinkers.

When all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolisers had a longevity boost. In other words, a higher percentage of the non-coffee drinkers died.

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