Drink up, coffee helps you live longer

Two new studies show that daily coffee consumption is tied to a lower mortality rate.
coffee health benefits
Toast to your health. Photo: ISTOCK

The next time some green tea sipping evangelist gives you hell about your morning cup of joe, you can tell them science says your daily habit could make you live longer than them. Indeed, according to two new studies published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, daily coffee consumption is associated with lower mortality rates. 

 

The first study, from researchers at the University of Hawaii and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), found that folks who drink one cup of coffee a day are 12 percent less likely to die of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease — than those who abstain from the life-giving elixir of the gods. 

 

One cup a day is a good start, but feel free to go full Gilmore on the java: the research found that those who drink two to three cups a day also saw an 18 percent reduced chance of death.

 

This isn’t to say coffee is a magic potion, but it’s certainly a good thing. "We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," lead author Veronica W. Setiawan said in a release. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start." And it doesn’t matter if you make it regular or decaf: the health benefits were the same in either case. 

 

The researchers looked at the coffee drinking habits of more than 185,000 participants, including African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos, Native Hawaiians and Caucasians, and found that the health benefits were consistent across ethnicities.  

"This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles," Setiawan said. "Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian." 

The second study from the World Health Organization and the Imperial College London, examined 521,000 folks in ten European countries and found that those who drank three or more cups a day had a reduced risk of death compared to non-imbibers. 

So pour yourself a damn fine cup, put on some "Twin Peaks," carpe diem. 

 
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