Drinking coffee could lower risk of death, study finds

The FDA has suggested that Americans consume no more than 400mg of caffeine, or four cups of coffee, per day.

Dr Loftfield, of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, said: "Coffee drinking was inversely associated with mortality, including among those drinking eight or more cups per day and those with genetic mutations indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism".

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.

The health benefits of the caffeinated pick-me-up have always been debated.

The researchers found those who drank three cups per day lowered their risk of early death by 18 percent while those who drank one cup per day lowered their risk by 12 percent.

"These findings suggest the importance of non caffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet".

But the study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looks at the very big picture. For one thing, they were more likely to drink instant coffee.

"Further research is needed to better understand the potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations of coffee with various health outcomes", Dr. Loftfield acknowledged. The researchers were then able to correlate the rates of death with the amount of coffee that each cohort described drinking each day.

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Because these health benefits were found both in people who metabolize coffee differently and those who drank decaf brew, researchers think something other than caffeine may be at play.

You may have heard about the plant compounds called phytochemicals in coffee; such basic elements remain whether coffee is caffeinated or not, and whether you use a $5,000 espresso machine or you pour some hot water onto some powder.

The protective effect was also seen among moderate and light coffee drinkers - but to a lesser degree. While the study represents an median view of coffee drinking habits, it is encouraging reading for lovers of the toasted bean.

Previous research has shown similar results. "Or at least not be bad", Lichtenstein said.

In the end, there were 14,225 deaths due to cancer (58 percent); cardiovascular disease (20 percent) and respiratory disease (4 percent).

On the basis of this study, some people who were holding back on coffee because of lingering health concerns may want to drink a little more if they want to, professor Lichstenstein says.

Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes.

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar.

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