Study: For A Longer Life, Stay Caffeinated

In the race to a longer, healthier life, "caffeine fiends" may have a head start. According to a new study by Science Daily, higher coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of early death. So, while health gurus and spiritualists search for the fountain of youth in exotic powders and herbs, the rest of you might have already been extending your life, starting with that cup of coffee you had this morning.

Could the answer to a longer life start with a trip to Starbucks drive-thru? Possibly.

The European Society of Cardiology revealed that the "magical elixir" to stave off early death may be at the bottom of your coffee cup. The long-term study examined the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality in a middle-aged Mediterranean cohort, and the results are perking up coffee-enthusiasts.

Researchers examined close to 20,000 participants, whose average age at the beginning of the study was about 38 years old. Over the course of the ten year study, 337 participants died. According to the results published in Science Daily, researchers found that participants who consumed "at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee."

And if you're a chronic coffee drinker, you'll relish in the study's additional findings: "There was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each additional cups of coffee per day."

But, correlation does not imply causation. The author notes several important factors that may influence the study's conclusions, such as gender, age, and diet. Still, this study stands among many others supporting coffee's health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

So while "a cup a day, keeps the doctor away" may not ring entirely true just yet, all the research done supporting coffee's benefits, is a strong enough case to go out for, say, a brisk walk to the nearest coffee shop -- to pick up that mid-afternoon americana.