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Drink coffee, live longer?

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Drink coffee, live longer?

Coffee lovers rejoice – the most recent study says it is good for you again.

Not only will your morning java make you live longer, but according to research from the US National Cancer Institute, you should be lining up around six cups per day.

The benefits were found to be so broad that drinking more coffee is now said to reduce the risk of death by not only natural causes, but also accident and injury.

The study, led by the institute’s Dr Neal Freedman, examined the association between coffee drinking and risk of death in 400,000 U.S. men and women ages 50 to 71 who participated in the National Institute of Health – American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health study.

The participants were followed over 12 to 13 years until the date they died or December 31, 2008, whichever came first.

Those who consumed three or more cups of coffee – caffeinated or decaf – per day had approximately a 10 per cent lower risk of death than non-coffee drinkers.

"Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear. We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes," Freedman said.

"Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health."

As a billion-dollar industry, it also makes a popular topic of discussion, and coffee studies have linked the beverage to everything from cancer to obesity.

Freedman said it was because of its complexity that coffee consumption was still not fully understood.

"Coffee has more than 1,000 compounds and we really don't know what effects those compounds have on health," he said.

"I don’t want people to read this and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to drink more coffee because I don’t want to die.’"

"We just don’t know whether it’s cause or effect," he told MSNBC.

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