Another Cup? More Coffee Could Be Linked to Longer Life Span

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Today's latest study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, says drinking coffee will help extend your life span. 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.

Blood samples and detailed medical histories, including health and lifestyle questions, showed that 33% of people drank between two and three cups of coffee a day.

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

"Our study provides further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and offers reassurance to coffee drinkers", Loftfield said.

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 makes you happy, it gives you something to look forward to in the morning, " said Taylor, a sound engineer from Las Vegas.

In fact, drinking lots of coffee was associated with a lower risk of early death, including among people who downed eight or more cups per day.

No doubt more coffee studies will be along in the very near future. Over the course of the 10-year study, a little more than 14,000 people died. Go ahead - it might boost your chances for a longer life.

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"Although these findings may reassure coffee drinkers, these results are from an observational study and should be interpreted cautiously", said lead study author Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Additionally, it took into account a wide range of drinking habits, from no caffeine up to eight cups of coffee per day, while also exploring associations with decaf and instant coffee.

Moreover, to get the benefit, it didn't matter whether someone metabolized caffeine slowly or quickly.

He added: "Healthier coffee, free from sugar or syrup, should also be encouraged to optimize any health benefit". That study is particularly important, as it shows these benefits apply to African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and white people.

It might be that some other factor - like wealth, or education, or proximity to a coffee shop - is contributing to both higher levels of coffee drinking and lower rates of mortality.

Nonetheless, the new study's findings are a positive for coffee lovers.

The health benefits of the caffeinated pick-me-up have always been debated.

So is all of the glowing research around coffee consumption scientifically sound, or yet another case of over-hyped public health reporting lacking nuance?

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

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