Your coffee addiction might be your body's way of telling you the secret to a long life: Drinking three cups a day might give you an advantage over people who don't drink a good brew.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Southern California said the protective effect of coffee was biologically plausible as the drink contains antioxidants and compounds which combat insulin resistance, lower inflammation and improve liver function.
The effects were modest; compared to non-coffee drinkers, those who quaffed the most in the USA study, four or more cups a day, had an 18 percent lower risk of dying by its end.
Meanwhile, American scientists conducted a separate investigation into the effect of coffee on the health of more than 185,000 participants from different ethnic backgrounds.
Those who reported that they drank two or three cups of coffee a day had an 18% decrease chance of death compared to those who did not drink coffee over the 16 year test period, according to the study.
"Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention", US study leader Dr. Veronica Setiawan added.
"I'm actually very reassured that you see similar findings in non-white populations", Setiawan said in an interview. In it, the coffee drinkers returned better biological markers when compared to those that did not consume this beverage. "Coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle and really there is no long-term harm", Seiawan says. These subjects hailed from 10 different European countries, each with their distinctive styles of coffee consumption, such as the espresso sippers of Italy and the cappuccino-lovers of the UK.
Get to know how drinking coffee can prolong your life. The studies were published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
'We are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee.
"We can not say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association", the study's lead author, Veronica W. Setiawan said to Science Daily. Heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes: all of these occurred less often among the coffee consumers. Just take it as a little bit of evidence that your coffee habit might not be as bad as everyone thinks. Death eventually gets coffee drinkers too, but there appears to be an association between regular cups of joe and delaying that meeting with the creepy dude holding a scythe.
The US study focused on ethnicity because lifestyle habits and disease risk varies greatly among people from different races and cultures. They were followed up for 16 years during which nearly 42,000 of them died from a range of conditions including cancer, circulatory diseases, heart failure and stroke. Drink one cup per day, and the risk of dying early from those diseases decreases by 12 percent, she said.
The researchers noted that in the United States, about 75 percent of adults drink coffee, and 50 percent drink it daily.