If you're one of those people who feels bad about the three, four, or five cups of coffee you need each morning to kick-start the day, this news should soothe your worries. A new study finds that those who drink coffee may live longer than their non-coffeeholic counterparts.
The study, led by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute, analyzed data from 400,000 Americans between the ages of 50 and 71. Those who drank at least two to three cups of coffee per day were 10 or 15 percent less likely to die during the next 13 years. Even one cup a day decreased a person's mortality risk.
What makes coffee life-sustaining? It could be the bean's effect against certain diseases; the study authors found that coffee particularly affected the risk of dying from heart disease, lung disease, strokes, injuries, accidents, diabetes, and infections, says NPR. And coffee is chock-full of compounds that could protect against diseases, i.e. antioxidants. Said Freedman to The New York Times, "It’s estimated there are 1,000 or more compounds in coffee... All of these could affect health in different ways. It might be due to one of the many compounds in coffee, or a number of them working together."
However, don't rush to Starbucks just yet — Freedman stressed that the study does not prove that coffee makes you live longer, but that it's a simply an association. Plenty of studies have shown coffee to have a negative impact on health; take another compound in coffee that could play a role in diabetes. But hey, at least coffeeholics don't have to toss their lattes down the drain just yet. (Except for some fast-food iced coffees — those things could kill you.)