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.

"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.

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:
8 'Superfoods' and Their Alternatives
9 Foods That Can Keep Your Brain Sharp
10 Healthy Teeth Habits From Dental Hygienists