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Moderate Coffee Drinkers have a Lower Risk of Death, Study Says

Update Date: Nov 17, 2015 05:24 PM EST

Coffee drinkers can rejoice!

According to a new study, people who drink three to five cups of coffee per day tend to live longer than people who do not drink coffee. For this research, the team from Harvard University's School of Public Health examined data from two surveys that included more than 200,000 doctors and nurses - Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study 2, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The participants routinely updated researchers on their eating habits, their lifestyle and health for at least two decades.

Based from these reports, the researchers found that moderate coffee drinkers who were not smokers were eight to 15 percent less likely to die than non-smokers who did not drink coffee at all.

"The main message is that regular consumption, meaning three to five cups of coffee a day, is associated with lower risk in total mortality and mortality from several causes like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and suicide," researcher Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology," said to NBC News. "In previous studies on that issue, most of the coffee was caffeinated coffee. In our study, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee showed a lower mortality risk but there is no final conclusion yet."

The researchers stated that even though they have found more evidence that coffee has health benefits, their findings still do not prove causation. Furthermore, the researchers noted that coffee drinkers tend to have poor lifestyle and eating habits that include smoking, drinking and consuming red meats.

The team added that they did not record how people took their coffee and stressed that people should not start drinking coffee as a means of preventing chronic illnesses.

Dr. Hu stated, "People who are already drinking it should continue to enjoy it, but for people who don't drink it or don't like it, there's no particular reason to start for the sole reason of health."

Despite the findings, the researchers are still unsure as to why coffee can lead to longevity.

Study author, Walter Willett reasoned, reported by NPR, "We're not sure exactly how coffee is [linked] to all these benefits. The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals. And my guess is that they're working together to have some of these benefits. We [see] similar benefits from caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. That's important, because it suggests that caffeine is not responsible for [the benefit.]"

The study was published in the journal, Circulation.

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