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The common assumption is that drinking coffee is bad for you. The health risks associated with caffeine consumption have long since been documented but a study released today has shown that a cup a day could in fact increase your life expectancy.
The research was undertaken between 1995 and 2008 and studied over 400,000 participants. The results found an inverse association between the amount of coffee drunk and the risk of death after examining the intake of the 52,000 people who died during this period.
The reason for this is unlikely to be the caffeine, say experts, although there are other ingredients such as antioxidants and magnesium. The people who drank coffee on a regular basis had a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, infections and injuries.
Dr Euan Paul, executive director of the British Coffee Association said: "This important research adds to the overwhelming weight of evidence which demonstrates that moderate coffee consumption of 4-5 cups of coffee per day is safe and may be associated with certain health benefits.”
Dr Paul added that this did not apply to pregnant women, who should still limit their caffeine consumption to the recommended daily amount of 200mg of caffeine per day.
He went on to say that the link between coffee drinking and life expectancy has not been proven yet, and the results are inconclusive but encouraging.
The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine after researchers at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Maryland studied the coffee patterns and health of 229,000 men and 173,000 women.