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Ms Lichenstein said the results support previous research that say coffee can be part of a healthy diet, but are not a reason for those who don't drink coffee to start.

Craving another cup of coffee?

But coffee drinkers in the United Kingdom study did not have higher risks than non-drinkers of dying from heart disease and other blood-pressure-related causes. Over 10 years of follow-up, 14 225 deaths occurred.

Adding toppings to coffee like cream, sugar and whipped cream can also vastly increase calories, and possibly negate it's positive effects. For one thing, they were more likely to drink instant coffee.

The lower risk of death held true with both caffeinated and decaf coffee, leading researchers to believe the value of coffee lies in the beans.

A prospective cohort study of almost 500,000 people in the United Kingdom found that drinking 1 to 8 or more cups of coffee per day was inversely associated with all-cause mortality. That number rises to 16 percent for those who drank six to seven cups, before jumping down to 14 percent for those consuming eight or more.

It's the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.

However, some health officials say more research should be done before you change your coffee routine. There is also the question of what kind of coffee drinks they're drinking. Simply drinking coffee isn't necessarily a health panacea.

Mechanisms to explain the protective effect of coffee consumption include reduced inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity, and effects on liver enzyme levels and endothelial function, according to the study.

Due in part to these compounds, people who follow a more plant-based approach to eating have lower rates of chronic diseases, such as certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, dementia, heart disease and depression, she added.

Additionally, the study found that cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease accounted for approximately 8294 (58%), 2833 (20%), and 553 (4%) deaths in the cohort, respectively.

The research team plans to break down the Biobank data by coffee preparation type - pressed coffee, versus filtered coffee, for example, to see if that makes any difference to health.

"We observed an inverse association for coffee drinking with mortality, including among participants who reported drinking at least one cup per day, up to eight or more cups per day, as well as those drinking filtered, instant and decaffeinated coffee", said Dr. Erikka Loftfield, the study's lead investigator and a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, in an email to TIME.

The results support the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which states consuming three to five cups of coffee per day, or 400 milligrams per day, of caffeine is not detrimental to healthy individuals.


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