Coffee can increase life expectancy, says study

Good news for coffee lovers - your daily cup (or five) could be extending your life span.

Good news for coffee lovers - your daily cup (or five) could be extending your life span.

You always knew it to be true, right? That one of these days someone (hopefully with a scientific background), was going to come out and say that something we enjoyed was actually good for us. And here it is folks.

A study from Harvard University in the US of over 200,000 people, for up to 28 years (meaning heck, this study was thorough and definitely credible), discovered those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to die of heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and even had lower suicide rates.

"Our study found that coffee drinking was associated with a lower risk of total mortality," says Dr Ming Ding, a doctoral student at Harvard University and author of the study.

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"Bioactive compounds lignans, quinides, trigonelline, and magnesium in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation," says Ming, which could be the reason. But it's not the caffeine that's helpful, because decaf drinkers reaped the benefits as much as the caffeinated drinkers. So don't go downing energy drinks thinking you'll get the same results.

The study also took into account lifestyle choices like smoking, body mass index, physical activity and alcohol consumption, and one thing's for sure: they are definitely not about to green light smoking! Smoking negated all of the good that coffee caused.

So what's the magic coffee number? Somewhere from one to five cups. "Compared to non-drinkers, coffee consumption one to five cups/d was associated with lower risk of mortality, while coffee consumption more than five cups/d was not associated with risk of mortality," says the study.

The researchers are reluctant to promote increasing your coffee intake however.

"As our study was observational, we don't know if the inverse association is casual," Ding says.

The bottom line? We can all stop feeling guilty about our moderate coffee habits. Next up, bacon! Oh, wait

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