Drinking coffee could help you live longer, study suggests


Don't feel guilty if you can't start your day without a cup of coffee. You might even be adding years to your life.

Two studiespublished Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine have found a link between higher coffee consumption and a lowered risk of death.

The studies build on other research linking coffee to a variety of health benefits, though some research has found risks.

For the first study, researchers took data from 521,330 people across 10 European countries, all of whom were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Compared to coffee-abstainers, those who drank the most coffee had a smaller risk of death from all causes during the 16-year follow-up period. This was after researchers accounted for lifestyle factors like diet and smoking.

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Coffee and espresso drinks explained
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Coffee and espresso drinks explained

A latte is espresso and steamed milk with a small amount of milk foam on top.

(Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

A cappuccino should be equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. 

(Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

dry cappuccino features less of the traditional steamed milk and more milk foam in its place.

(Photo by Etienne Voss via Getty Images)

cafe au lait is traditional black coffee mixed with warmed milk.

(Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)

Espresso is specially brewed coffee, created with finely ground coffee beans brewed under pressure with nearly-boiling water. 

(Photo by Jeremy Piper/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

macchiato, traditionally, is a 'stained' espresso -- espresso with just a dot of milk.

(Photo by Nigel Noyes via Getty Images)

An Americano is espresso mixed with hot water. 

(Photo by Ben Monk via Getty Images)

cortado is espresso that is 'cut' with an equal amount of milk. 

(Photo by Anthony Collins via Getty Images)

red eye is for the severely under-caffeinated -- espresso shots mixed in with a regular black coffee

(Photo by Dima Sobko via Shutterstock)

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"The fact that we saw the same relationships in different countries is kind of the implication that it's something about coffee rather than it's something about the way that coffee is prepared or the way it's drunk," study author Dr. Marc Gunter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer told CNN.

The second study, conducted in the U.S., found that drinking coffee was linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and respiratory and kidney disease in African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites. Those who drank a cup of coffee per day had a 12 percent smaller chance of dying than non-coffee drinkers. Two to three cups of coffee was linked to an 18 percent lower risk of death. The study included 185,855 people who responded to questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle, and family and personal medical history.

The studies are delivering a jolt of good news to many around the world. People drink more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee across the globe every day, estimates suggest. In the U.S. alone, approximately 75 percent of adults drink coffee and 50 percent do so daily.

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Strangely delicious things to add to your coffee
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Strangely delicious things to add to your coffee
Butter

Butter in coffee is actually becoming a very popular trend, among celebrities like Shailene Woodley and college students alike. The mixture, termed "Bulletproof Coffee," is made by blending together coffee with a pat of butter and some coconut oil.

The nutritional benefits behind this seemingly odd drink include improved work performance, higher and prolonged energy levels, and weight loss. Use grass-fed butter, which is a heart-healthy superfood rich in antioxidants and body fat-burning vitamins. Who said butter wasn't good for you?

Salt
No, I don't mean sugar. Some people claim that adding sugar to coffee decreases its bitterness (we're looking at you, dining hall coffee). If you make your own coffee at home, try adding it to your coffee grounds before brewing, or to your cold brew to really maximize the flavor.
Cardamom
Make your morning coffee exotic by adding this Middle Eastern spice to your cup, which also acts as a neutralizer for the effects of caffeine. If you're one of those people who gets the jitters from coffee, I'm talking to you. Cardamom was also commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to lift spirits, reduce pain, and induce a calm state of mind. As a bonus, it can also help stimulate your appetite and settle your stomach. This might just be the miracle spice you've been dreaming of.
Egg
And you thought the butter was weird. Scandanavian egg coffee is a traditional drink in parts of Scandinavia, Norway, and even the American Midwest. It's made by mixing a whole raw egg into coffee grounds, then boiling it in water. It results in a separation of the coffee grounds and the water, free of sediment or cloudiness. Straining it results in an amber-colored coffee that is only mildly bitter and that still contains the essential oils from the coffee beans. It's definitely an experiment worth trying.
Ice Cream
Because why not? I can personally say that ice cream is probably the greatest addition to coffee that's ever happened. It's the perfect substitute for cream and sugar, making your coffee that much sweeter and easier to drink if you actually hate coffee, but drink it anyway to stay awake. If your college dining hall has an ice cream machine, I would recommend topping off your cup of joe with a scoop of your flavor of choice, and revel in the luxury of your new favorite drink.
Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is used in pretty much everything these days, so why not add it to your coffee too? Advocates maintain that coconut oil enhances coffee, making it taste better and providing a whole lot of health benefits. A spoonful of the stuff will help speed up your metabolism, boost your immune system, and leave you feeling more satisfied.
Oatmeal
Breakfast and coffee in one? Yes, please. Decrease your morning routine by adding raw oatmeal into your hot cup of coffee until the oatmeal is cooked through. Add cinnamon, honey, or sugar for extra flavor and sweetness. As a bonus, there's one less set of dishes you have to do. It's a win-win.
Tonic Water
Bubbly iced coffee sounds weird but also somewhat appealing, right? This combination, popular in places like Sweden, is made by pouring cold brew or espresso over tonic water and ice. The resulting drink is said to be citrusy, crisp, and refreshing (especially on those hot summer days), with an additional caffeinated kick you'll probably need once exams start. By night, turn this drink into a cold brew gin and tonic, because you deserve it.
Lemon or Lime
First there was lemon in water, now there's lemon in coffee. Give your morning brew a citrusy kick by throwing in a fresh lemon or lime peel (but be careful not to swallow it). The peel will get rid of the bitter flavors of your coffee and enhance its sweetness. Another myth suggests that a lemon peel can clean your teeth after drinking coffee or espresso. Unfortunately, however, it can't prevent coffee breath.
Coca-Cola
The more caffeine the merrier. For the ultimate pick-me-up, pour some Coca-Cola into your iced coffee, making a drink that's said to be similar to vanilla Coke. The mixture results in a refreshing fizz that's bubbly and sure to keep you awake throughout most of the day. Be sure to use a medium to dark roast coffee in order to decrease dilution and counteract the sweetness of the soda.
Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract is a great replacement for any artificial sweeteners or sugars that you would typically use in your coffee. Just a few drops of the stuff will sweeten your brew and add additional flavor minus all the fake preservatives in traditional flavor syrups. You could also try adding almond extract to experiment with flavor profiles.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
You're never going to want to put regular milk in your coffee again after you try it with this stuff. Sweetened condensed milk added to your coffee will make it sweeter and creamier, requiring no extra sugar. A traditional drink in Vietnam, it's super easy to make and way cheaper than any of the lattes at Starbucks you usually get.
Peanut Butter
This was actually an experiment of my own, as I have a slight huge obsession with peanut butter and would try to eat it with everything if I could. Peanut butter will give your hot coffee a nutty, creamy taste, and provide all the benefits that come with eating it. This includes added protein to help make you feel fuller longer, healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. You could even blend coffee and peanut butter with some other ingredients to create a satisfying morning coffee smoothie.
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Neither study is proof positive for drinking the breakfast staple, however.

"Due to the limitations of observational research, we are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee," Gunter said in a statement. "That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking – up to around three cups per day – is not detrimental to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits."

Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the U.S. study, offered a similar sentiment.

"We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," Setiawan, also a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a statement. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start."

More from US News:
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9 Foods That Can Keep Your Brain Sharp
10 Healthy Teeth Habits From Dental Hygienists

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