Don’t let anyone judge you for that third flat white – according to new research, science is on your side.
Two new studies – including the largest analysis into the subject ever – have found that coffee can help you live longer. The first, conducted by scientists at the Imperial College London and International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC), revealed that “higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically circulatory diseases and digestive diseases,” says lead researcher Dr Marc Gunter of the IARC.
Three cups a day was the magic number, and included decaf as well as, you know, the good stuff.
The study anaylsed 521,330 people aged 35 and above from 10 European countries, assessed their diets and lifestyle and followed up sixteen years later. Over 41,000 people from the sample size had passed away by that stage, with the study finding that men who drank at least three coffees a day were 18 per cent less likely to die from any cause, and for women, eight per cent.
“We found that drinking more coffee was associated with a more favourable liver function profile and immune response,” Dr Gunter adds. “This, along with the consistency of the results with other studies in the US and Japan, gives us greater confidence that coffee may have beneficial health effects.”
Another similar study by the University of Southern California also recently published findings in coffee’s favour. Theirs looked at 185,855 people and found that, “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle,” according to Assoc. Prof Veronica W. Setiawan.
“Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” she adds. “If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.” As if we needed any encouragement in that department.
Just don’t be that person who asks for their latte extra hot – the World Health Organisation has advised that scalding beverages could cause esophagus cancer.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.