Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity

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

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

Good news for coffee lovers-including those who indulge heavily: Yet another study has found a link between drinking coffee and a longer life.

Even drinking less than one cup of coffee per day lowers the risk of premature death due by 6 percent, the study found.

But for now, it's right there in black and white: "This study provides further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and offers reassurance to coffee drinkers", the journal reports.

After 10 years of the study, results showed that non-coffee drinkers were more likely to have died than those who didn't drink coffee. About one-third of those surveyed said they drank between two and three cups of coffee each day, and 10,000 of them drank eight or more cups each day.

Coffee contains antioxidants, substances that inhibit oxidation, especially those used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products. The study looked at some common gene variations that help determine whether someone metabolizes caffeine quickly or slowly, but didn't find any difference in health risk. People who drank six to seven cups were 16% less likely to die, and people who drank eight or more cups were about 14% less likely to die.

We're not saying you should drink a giant cup of scalding coffee after a workout instead of water or gatorade, but you can't put all the dehydration blame on your morning grande latte.

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).

Alice Lichenstein, a Tufts University nutrition researcher not linked to the study agrees, saying coffee has had negative health connotations which partially come from early literature suggesting coffee is not healthy for people.

Craving another cup of coffee? "Or at least not be bad", she said.

"But we know that within normal limits - as with something like fruit and vegetables - that if you enjoy it you might as well do so", she said.

In the study, published today (July 2) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Loftfield and her team at the NCI analyzed data from almost 500,000 people who took part in the U.K. Biobank study.

The study didn't have enough data from people who drink that much coffee, Giovannucci 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.

"I try to have just one cup daily", Taylor said.

That means, for example, if you're adding 500 calories of cream and sugar to a coffee beverage the size of a Big Gulp, you might want to keep an eye on that.

The lower risk of death held true with both caffeinated and decaf coffee, leading researchers to believe the value of coffee lies in the beans.

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.

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