Livin’ la vida mocha: Coffee has life lengthening properties, study suggests

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In a research study of almost 500,000 adults in Britain, those who consumed instant, ground and decaf coffee - even as much as 8 cups daily - had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than those who did not.

As with any observational study like this though, where people are quizzed on their past and existing habits, we can't definitively say that coffee causes a longer life.

The speed at which a person metabolized caffeine didn't seem to affect longevity, despite prior research that suggested coffee consumption might be related to increased risks of high blood pressure and heart attack among people who metabolize caffeine slowly.

For those who drank six to seven cups a day, the risk was cut 16 percent, Loftfield said.

A new study suggests coffee can be part of a healthy diet.

In a 10-year follow-up period, around 14,000 people in the study died (the leading causes of death were cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases).

When the researchers looked at the participants' genetic data, they identified four gene variations that were known to be associated with caffeine metabolism, or how the body breaks down caffeine.

I hope you're reading this while drinking a cup of coffee.

"There are compounds in caffeine and coffee beans - polyphenols, antioxidants, magnesium - [and] this reduces inflammation, it lowers insulin resistance", ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said Tuesday on "Good Morning America".

For many of us, a day hasn't properly started until we've had our first cup of coffee.

The research team plans to break down the Biobank data by coffee preparation type - pressed coffee, versus filtered coffee, for example, to see if that makes any difference to health. The inverse association held for both ground and instant coffee, as well as decaffeinated coffee. And it also doesn't matter what version of the "coffee gene" people have. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups a day.

As all this data shows, coffee is likely beneficial for most of us, and at the very least not harmful.

While caffeine in large amounts can kill, it takes huge amounts of coffee to deliver a lethal dose - more than 20 cups at once. However, the findings provide additional reassurance to coffee drinkers, while reinforcing previous research on the benefits of the beverage to human health.

Other studies have found coffee drinkers have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, including colorectal, breast, uterine and liver, and Parkinson's disease.

Alice Lichenstein, a Tufts University nutrition researcher not linked to the study agrees, saying coffee has had negative health connotations which partially come from early literature suggesting coffee is not healthy for people.

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