Skip to main content

Is Coffee Life's Elixir?

A morning buzz does the body good.
(Photo: iravgustin/Shutterstock)

(Photo: iravgustin/Shutterstock)

All those caffeine addicts who tout coffee as the elixir of life may, in fact, be on to something: According to a new study, just one cup of coffee a day—be it regular or decaf—can reduce one's risk of dying or developing diseases like diabetes.

The sweet spot for a prolonged life? Three to five cups a day, which, according to research published earlier this month in Circulation, reduces the risk of dying by 15 percent among non-smokers. Researchers found that drinking a single cup per day was tied to a six percent reduced risk of death, while one to three cups per day marked an eight percent reduced mortality risk. Participants who drank more than five cups of coffee each day showed a 12 percent reduced risk of dying as well.

The study—which followed more than 200,000 participants for three decades—also backs up previous research touting coffee's other health benefits. For one, an inverse association was found between coffee consumption and suicide risk, supporting claims that coffee may act as an antidepressant. Authors also noted inverse correlations between coffee and cardiovascular disease; liver, endometrial, and prostate cancers; basal cell carcinoma; Type 2 diabetes; and neurological diseases like Parkinson's.

"Results from this and previous studies indicate that coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle," the study's authors write.

So keep on keepin' on, coffee lovers. A morning buzz does the body good.