Proof coffee gives us the one thing we all want

What’s the best thing about coffee? Is it the smell of freshly ground beans? The way it clears your brain like the sun burning away fog, or the face that it’s there for you no matter what?

No, it’s this… coffee makes you live longer.

A new study by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in Boston has found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee each day are be less likely to die prematurely from certain illnesses than those who don’t less, or no coffee at all.

The diseases include cardiovascular disease, the number one killer for older Australians, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and, interestingly, suicide.

Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee get these benefits.

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“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said lead author Ming Ding. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

Researchers analysed health data gathered from participants in three large ongoing studies: 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study; 93,054 women in the Nurses’ Health Study 2; and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Coffee drinking was assessed using validated food questionnaires every four years over about 30 years.

Moderate coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of death from the diseases, even when potentially confounding factors such as smoking, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and other dietary factors were taken into consideration.