Dr. Erikka Loftfield, of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute and author of the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, told Newsweek: "How well caffeine is metabolized varies considerably from person to person".
Another large study of 500,000 people in Europe showed similar results to the recent United Kingdom research: men who drank three cups of coffee per day were 12% less likely to die over a 16-year period than coffee abstainers, and women who drank that much coffee were 7% less likely to die.
Those who drank eight cups or more per day saw their death rates cut by 14 percent, and it was raised to 16 percent among those who drank six to seven cups.
Of the study cohort, about 78 percent were coffee drinkers and researchers followed up with this group over 10 years with the end result being mortality.
But something people may not realize that is also beneficial when it comes to coffee, especially during these sweltering summer months, is that coffee does not dehydrate you.
As a part of the Biobank study, people were asked how many cups of coffee they drank daily, including decaf.
So there you have it: a habit that so many of us enjoy that is suggested, once again, to actually be good for us.
"Participants drinking four or more cups per day, compared with those drinking less coffee and nondrinkers, were more likely to drink instant coffee and be current smokers, whereas participants drinking one to three cups per day were older, more likely to have a university degree, and more likely to report "excellent" health".
Ms Lichenstein said the results support previous research that say coffee can be part of a healthy diet, but are not a reason for those who don't drink coffee to start. The study looked at some common gene variations that help determine whether someone metabolizes caffeine quickly or slowly, but didn't find any difference in health risk. "I just know that it has a bad rap", Mr Gardiner said.
"But here's a situation where there was always some feeling of, 'Oh, can't be - I enjoy it too much, it can't be good for me.' And now we're finding out that it's good". Over the course of the 10-year study, a little more than 14,000 people died.
Past studies have indicated an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's and cancers of the liver, bowel, colon and endometrium.
The study covered people who drank instant, ground and decaffeinated coffee.
In the study, published today (July 2) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Loftfield and her team at the NCI analyzed data from almost 500,000 people who took part in the U.K. Biobank study.
When all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolisers had a longevity boost. So if you drank that coffee, you had a slightly lower chance of dying during the 10 years the study examined. This adds to a significant body of research indicating that coffee has positive effects on the heart, liver, brain, and more.
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