Here's How Drinking Coffee Can Reduce Risk Of Early Death

Drinking coffee every day may cut your risk of dying early by 12 percent​, says a new study.

BY CHRISTA SGOBBA

The secret to longevity might be what you’re putting in your mug: People who drink coffee daily are less likely to die prematurely, a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found.

In the study, researchers analysed survey data from over 520,000 people across 10 European countries on how often—and how much—coffee they drank, and performed lab work to test them for things like liver and metabolic function, along with heart disease risk.

Related: 5 Foods to Eat If You Want to Live Longer

They discovered that men who drank the most coffee—an average of 855 millilitres, or 29 ounces (about three and a half, eight-ounce cups) a day—were 12 percent less likely to die of any cause during the 16-year follow-up than those who didn’t drink any coffee at all.

In men, the reduction in premature death seemed to be primarily driven by a sharp decline in the number of digestive-disease deaths, which includes liver-related causes. Guys who drank the most coffee were 59 percent less likely to die of digestive disease over the follow-up than those who didn’t drink any java.

In fact, the more coffee guys drank, the lower their levels of certain liver enzymes like ALT, ALP, and AST tended to be. That’s important, since high levels of these can signal liver damage or liver dysfunction.

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The link between premature death and coffee consumption held true regardless of whether the people drank regular or decaf, and what strength or concentration of java they drank. Still, it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions about decaf vs. regular, since the researchers weren’t able to know for sure whether decaf drinkers hadn’t been drinking regular coffee during different periods of their lives.

It’s possible that the caffeine in coffee can help reduce buildup of scar tissue in the liver, the researchers say. And coffee itself may help hinder the progression of fatty liver disease by reducing fat accumulation and inflammation.

This shows that drinking coffee may not only be safe, but actually protective for your health, study author Elio Riboli, M.D., said in a statement.

Still, you don’t want to go overboard. The daily recommended allotment for caffeine maxes out at 400 milligrammes a day for adults—the amount in roughly four standard cups of coffee. Drink too much, and you can risk effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, and agitation.

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