Finally, a reason to feel less guilty about our extensive caffeine habit: according to not one but two new studies, drinking three cups of coffee a day could lengthen your life expectancy.
The reason? Regularly drinking coffee is linked to a reduced risk of liver and heart disease, strokes, circulatory problems and issues with digestion.
A study from Imperial College London and the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer monitored 520,000 participants from ten countries around the world, all aged over 35, for a period of around 16 years, as reported by Metro.
The team of researchers found that the participating men who drank three cups of coffee a day were 18 percent less likely to die over the course of the 16 year period than those who abstained from the hot beverage. For women, the effect was less pronounced, though female participants who drank the same amount were 8 percent less likely to die. Uplifting stuff, we know.
Over in the US, researchers at the University of Southern California followed a smaller group of 186,000 people over a similar period of time. They found that those who drank one daily cup of coffee were 12 percent less likely to die over that 16 year period than those who drank none at all.
Again, this second study discovered that those who drank three cups in a day were 18 percent less likely to day. What was that about three being a magic number?
Researchers believe that rather than being an effect of caffeine consumption, these benefits are linked to the antioxidants found in coffee.
While we can't posit it as a miracle cure-all, the health benefits of coffee are certainly worth bearing in mind before you mentally beat yourself up for that mid-afternoon soujourn to Starbucks...