Good news, coffee drinkers: You're less likely to die than those who steer clear of java. A new Harvard study finds regular coffee consumption not only boosts longevity but reduces your risk of diabetes, heart disease and suicide.
The study — based on surveys of more than 200,000 women and 50,000 men in the U.S. — notes non-smokers who drink three to five cups of coffee daily are 15 percent less likely to die, reports CNN. Those who drink three cups or less have a 6–8 percent lower risk of death, while those who drink more than five cups have a 12 percent lower risk. The same applies to those who drink decaf, suggesting caffeine isn't responsible for the benefits, per NPR.
While the lead author notes coffee shouldn't be used "as a strategy for prevention of the chronic diseases," coffee is a good source of antioxidants, which fight DNA damage, per NBC News. Also, "the chlorogenic acid, lignans, quinides, trigonelline and magnesium in coffee reduces insulin resistance and systematic inflammation," the authors add.
However, "people should also be aware of the amount of added sugar to coffee drinks which can become a problem," the author notes.
Coffee drinkers in general were 10 percent less likely to die from heart disease, 9–27 percent less likely to die from neurological diseases like Parkinson's and dementia, and 20–36 percent less likely to die from suicide. (Interestingly, those who drank less than a cup of coffee a day had a 36 percent higher chance of suicide.)
"The main message is that people who enjoy drinking coffee should not worry about it being harmful for their health," a researcher says. "Coffee may actually be beneficial to their health."
(In related news, coffee might also clean your arteries.)