Drink up: Research shows coffee is good for you

Coffee beans in a mug

The fact that decaf was also determined to have a positive impact suggests that coffee compounds, not caffeine, could be the key to the drink's apparent life lengthening success, the study's lead author Erikka Loftfield told Live Science.

A new study claimed that drinking any kind of coffee will help people live longer, with a 12 percent lower risk of death. More than half a million people volunteered to give blood and answer detailed health and lifestyle questions for ongoing research into genes and health.

In one study of nearly half a million people spread out across 10 European nations, researchers found that drinking three cups of coffee a day may help you live longer.

"These findings ... provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet", the researchers wrote.

However, some health officials say more research should be done before you change your coffee routine.

But coffee drinkers in the study didn't have higher risks than non-drinkers of dying from heart disease and other blood pressure-related causes.

Generally speaking, people who drank two to three cups of coffee every day had a lower risk of death than those who didn't.

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As all this data shows, coffee is likely beneficial for most of us, and at the very least not harmful.

In a 10-year follow-up period, around 14,000 people in the study died (the leading causes of death were cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases).

Coffee lovers may not have to feel that familiar pang of guilt when pouring themselves yet another cup of joe for the day.

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. They concluded: "Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking 8 or more cups per day and those with genetic polymorphisms indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism". That study is particularly important, as it shows these benefits apply to African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and white people. "Like so many plant foods", she said, "the coffee bean is brimming with polyphenols that, research suggests, confer health benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes and antihypertensive properties". The inverse association held for both ground and instant coffee, as well as decaffeinated coffee.

"But", she added, "I would also suggest if someone doesn't enjoy coffee, the data are not strong enough that they should start drinking coffee".

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of the study, and everything that's gone before, we can chalk this up as more evidence that coffee does indeed seem to improve our health in certain ways - even if we don't exactly know how.

The study notes that the results did not vary significantly by factors including age group, sex, and previous history heart disease or cancer.

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