Pour yourself a refill, java lovers. New research proves that your coffee addiction could actually help you live longer.
Two studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined coffee’s effects on longevity and chronic disease. The first looked at 520,000 people in 10 European countries and found that those who drank more three or more cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of death as well as reduced occurrence of liver disease, suicide in men, cancer in women, digestive diseases and circulatory diseases.
The second study was more concerned with the effects of coffee on different races, and looked at 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos, and whites. Researchers found that participants who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee; the results mirror those of studies completed on majority-white populations.
The breadth of these studies is really important—because so many people in different countries participated, it’s clear to researchers that it probably doesn’t matter much how your coffee is prepared and more that you drink it. Unlike other studies—which test only black coffee or only espresso—this research suggests that you get just as many neuroprotective and longevity-increasing benefits from your almond milk latte as you do from a plain cup of coffee. (Of course, drinking coffee won’t offset the negative effects of smoking cigarettes!) Both studies even found that drinking coffee can increase the lifespan of the average smoker, meaning the compounds in your doppio are pretty powerful.
Researchers are unsure which of coffee’s complex neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory compounds are responsible for its miraculous life-elongating effects, but plan to do more studies to examine exactly the source of these anti-aging properties. In the meantime, we’re interpreting these studies as further proof that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with our three-a-day cappuccino habit. Happy sipping!