By now, you’ve probably seen a lot of studies about coffee — so many that it can be hard to know what’s true about the caffeinated beverage and your health.
But a new study published in JAMA is certainly worth paying attention to, given its sheer sample size. Researchers pulled data on half a million people, and found that drinking basically any amount of coffee was linked to a longer lifespan.
According to the study, drinking a daily cup of coffee — be it regular or decaffeinated — may lower your risk of early death by 8 percent. Drinking six to seven cups a day may lower your risk by 16 percent. Even at eight cups or more, you may still lower your risk of early death by 14 percent.
“Our study provides further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and offers reassurance to coffee drinkers,” Dr. Erikka Loftfield, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute and the study’s lead investigator, told Time.
As Time explained, the team of researchers analyzed data on roughly 500,000 people from the UK Biobank cohort. Participants answered questions about their coffee consumption, as well as their smoking and drinking habits and health history, beginning in 2006 and ending in 2016.
Of those 500,000 people, 14,600 died during the study’s 10-year follow up period. From there, the researchers were able to determine the link between coffee and longevity.
They concluded their findings provide “further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet” — but as always, more studies are still on the horizon. As Loftfield told Time, “Our current understanding of coffee and health is primarily based on findings from observational studies… To better understand the potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations of coffee with various health outcomes, additional studies are needed.”
This is hardly the only study to show the positive health effects of coffee. In 2017, researchers also found that sipping the good stuff can may protect against age-related inflammation; another found that it can even help improve your athletic performance. The year before, a study showed it could reduce your risk of diabetes — and that’s just a small sampling of the research on the topic.
For now, you can feel good about pouring yourself another — just hold the cream and sugar.
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