Could Drinking Coffee Prolong Your Life?

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  • Scientists aren’t quite sure why, but a burgeoning group of studies is finding that drinking coffee — in addition to delivering your daily buzz and making your mornings bearable — carries with it a number of life-prolonging benefits.

    In one large-scale epidemiological study from last year, researchers primarily at the National Cancer Institute parsed health information from more than 400,000 volunteers, ages 50 to 71, who were free of major diseases at the study’s start in 1995. By 2008, more than 50,000 of the participants had died. But men who reported drinking two or three cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to have died than those who didn’t drink coffee, while women drinking the same amount had 13 percent less risk of dying during the study.

    Researchers have also found signs that drinking a few cups of day helps stave off memory loss and dementia. Mice who were given caffeine after being starved of oxygen “regained their ability to form new memories 33 percent faster than the uncaffeinated.” So next time you’re contemplating whether it’s worth spending $4 on a latte, ask yourself, “How much is my personal health and longevity really worth?”

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