"If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start." That's the advice of a researcher at the University of Southern California, per a press release, following a pair of new studies suggesting coffee prolongs life. The first study of 186,000 people found those who drank a cup of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and, kidney disease than those who avoided java, reports the Los Angeles Times. Those who drank two to three cups a day were 18% less likely to die of those causes, says Veronica Setiawan, lead author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
While the study backs up previous research, Setiawan notes it's one of the few that shows the association between coffee and a lower mortality risk applies to people of varying ethnicities (whites, African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians) and "gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you." A second study of 521,000 people from 10 European countries published Tuesday also found the top 25% of coffee drinkers had a reduced mortality risk of 12% for men and 7% for women. This suggests the manner in which coffee is prepared is not key to its benefits, a researcher tells CNN. Nor is caffeine believed to be a factor: The lower mortality risk was seen in both studies regardless of whether people drank regular or decaf coffee. (Now available: colorless coffee.)