People who drink coffee everyday are likely to live longer, healthier and happier lives than those who do not partake of the beverage, according to major new research out of Britain.
In the 10-year study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers who drank 1-8 cups of coffee per day had a 10-15% lower risk of death than abstainers, according to the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo U.S. research. It’s the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.
“We found that people who drank two to three cups per day had about a 12 percent lower risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers,” during the decade-long study, Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, told NPR.
The results don’t prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research. But she said the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers.
“It’s hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us. Or at least not be bad,” Lichtenstein said.
The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
It’s not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity. Lead author Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage.
Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes. Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.