Coffee apologists have long scoffed at the idea that drinking the black stuff is bad for you. Aside from the fact that it's an integral part of daily life for so many people, they argued that coffee can actually be good for you, a notion supported by a couple small studies here and there, but nothing overwhelmingly decisive. Now they have some real ammo — in a study of more than 200,000 people, researchers have found an association between drinking coffee and a lower overall risk of mortality.
According to the authors of the study, led by Frank Hu of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, those who drank three to five cups a day actually showed the highest increase in survival rates, a notable finding because previous studies haven't been able to measure "heavy" drinkers' health in a significant way. Hu and his colleagues analyzed the health records of more than 200,000 people mined from three large clinical trials that included doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Combining all the data, it was discovered that drinking up to five cups a day lowered the risk of all-cause mortality by 5 to 9 percent compared to drinking none at all.
Although the study represents only correlation and not causation, its sheer size on the heels of decades of smaller studies revealing similar ideas is very convincing. So much so that Hu and the others concluded that "results from this and previous studies indicate that coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle." What's more is the 200,000 health records allowed researchers to better understand coffee effects separate from smoking, which can sometimes shroud the former's benefits as the two are closely linked in use. Apparently non-smoking coffee drinkers that consume more than five cups a day had a 12 percent lower mortality risk than non-drinkers, and those who consume three to five had a 15 percent lower risk compared to non-drinkers.
So there you have it. Drinking coffee in relative abundance will not only provide you much-needed energy to get through the day, but is also helpful in reducing your risk of heart disease, liver diseases, diabetes, and overall mortality. Brush up on how to order coffee around the world, how to brew the perfect cup of coffee, and all the other arguments for how coffee is beneficial. It's time to grind some beans.
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