Drinking coffee, even decaf or instant, may help you live longer

Coffee beans in a mug

The protective effects applied to all types of coffee including ground instant and decaffeinated Credit PA

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.

The study looked at patterns in an existing dataset, so it's hard to say whether coffee is responsible for a longer life or if it is just associated with one.

The live-giving properties of a cup of joe even stayed in place for the survey's 10,000 respondents who drank eight cups or more a day.

A new study adds to growing evidence that drinking coffee may help you live longer.

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). The benefit was seen with instant, ground, decaf, and in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine. Drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of early death - virtually regardless of how much you drink and whether or not it's caffeinated, concludes a paper published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that inverse associations between coffee and mortality may be attributable to constituents other than caffeine", said Dr. Loftfield.

Context like the general recommendation from experts to stick to 400 mg of caffeine per day (about four cups of coffee) - too much of the stuff tends to lead to problems like insomnia or heartburn.

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Researchers arrived at this conclusion after assessing the health of 500,000 people who took part in a study based in the United Kingdom.

It's another piece of good news for coffee lovers, and it gets even better. This included ground coffee, instant coffee as well as decaffeinated coffee.

Drinking coffee could be beneficial, regardless of whether a person metabolizes the drink quickly or slowly.

The second main way in which the study builds upon past research is that it took into account mortality incidence with respect to genetic differences in participants' metabolizing of caffeine.

Of the study cohort, about 78 percent were coffee drinkers and researchers followed up with this group over 10 years with the end result being mortality. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of coffee. And when all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolizers had a longevity boost. More than half a million people volunteered to give blood and answer detailed health and lifestyle questions for ongoing research into genes and health.

The research didn't include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar. So the next time someone says they're trying to limit their coffee consumption, you can tell them not to worry about it.

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