The 16-year study (which tracked more than 185,000 people) found that people who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn't drink coffee. Up that intake to two to three cups a day, and researchers found an 18 percent reduced chance of death. (Plus, great news if you avoid the stuff to keep your sleep on track or to avoid getting jittery: Caffeinated versus decaf didn't make a difference.)
"Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention."
The findings are the result of an enormous study: Researchers examined data from 185,855 ethnically diverse adults ages 45 to 75. (That's a whole lotta lattes!)
"We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC says. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start."
Setiawan—a coffee drinker herself—says, "Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention. Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this 'elixir effect,' it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle." So if your morning cup is the best part of waking up, this scientist says drink up (and hey, add some healthy fats or a superfood boost to your brew while you're at it).
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