I'm not making this up. According to the article "Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality," published in The New England Journal of Medicine, drinking coffee can help you live longer.
The study wasn't by some fly-by-night bunch of over-the-hill techies looking for an excuse to imbibe more caffeine. Oh, no. The study was authored by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. According to Freedman, "There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking."
Unfortunately, the study raises more questions than it answers, even if it was sponsored by National Institutes of Health and the AARP. It doesn't necessarily state that coffee drinkers live longer. But it does imply that drinking coffee can make you live longer.
Good science involves separating out the variables, in order to get to the crux of a particular question, proof, or theorem. In the case of coffee, most studies studied coffee drinkers. And coffee drinkers are an unhealthy lot. They tend to be Type-A, smokers, hard-charging, intense, stressed, and so on.
These are unhealthy characteristics.
So coffee drinkers often have some healthy problems that come as a result of these particular personality characteristics. What Freedman figured out is that the act of drinking coffee itself didn't reduce your time on this planet, it seems to be increasing it.
What you have then, are two parts of the puzzle. The inherent personalities of most coffee drinkers means they might have a tougher health life over the long term. That's bad. But each time you drink a cup of coffee, you might be extending your life span. And that's good.
That might explain why 97-year-old Uncle Earl, who chain-smokes, drinks five cups of coffee a day, and swears like a sailor's sailor is still around. It's not the orneryness. It's the coffee.
Here's a round-up of ZDNet's techie beverage coverage:
Headline credit, by the way, goes to my coffee-addicted husband. When I told him I was writing an article about coffee helping you live longer, he exclaimed, "That's the best news, evaaar."
What about you? Do you drink a lot of coffee? Will this news encourage you to drink more coffee? If so, what are you doing to also combat stress? Talk back in the TalkBacks below.