Coffee is really, really good for you, new evidence shows

Coffee beans in a mug

The protective effects applied to all types of coffee including ground instant and decaffeinated Credit PA

Most were coffee drinkers; 154,000 or nearly one-third drank two to three cups daily and 10,000 drank at least eight cups daily.

This recent study drew from data from the UK Biobank study, an in-depth research initiative collecting data and following 500,000 people for three decades.

"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".

So the study seems to suggest you can get much the same health benefits from cheap supermarket coffee as from a fancy cup of artisanal terroir coffee.

Because some people's genetics make them slower to metabolize caffeine, the researchers wanted to see if that made coffee consumption riskier for these individuals.

"Coffee drinkers, compared with non-coffee drinkers, were more likely to be male, white, former smokers, and drink alcohol", the study found. But overall, "coffee drinkers were about 10 percent to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up", according to an Associated Press report on the study.

Coffee contains more than 1,000 biological compounds, including potassium and folic acid, known to have an effect on the body, Loftfield explained. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily.

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The researchers (who, by the way, are federal scientists, not from anything like the Starbucks Institute for Coffee Research) say there is data on diet about some of the study participants that could be mined to parse apart the difference between people who have, say, cappuccinos or lattes or espressos.

A prospective cohort study of almost 500,000 people in the United Kingdom found that drinking 1 to 8 or more cups of coffee per day was inversely associated with all-cause mortality. An editorial by Eliseo Guallar from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, said there is no way to know if coffee prevents chronic disease and reduces mortality because there are too many factors to weigh like why people start drinking coffee. Researchers noticed an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of death, regardless of whether individuals metabolized it quickly or slowly.

Years ago, health concerns about coffee included fears that it might raise risk of pancreatic cancer and other diseases.

"Our current understanding of coffee and health is primarily based on findings from observational studies", Loftfield said.

And the "coffee gene" you may have heard of didn't affect things either.

There are several possible explanations for the health benefits of coffee.

But for some coffee lovers, this may be the only evidence needed to enjoy more coffee.

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