According to a 14-year study, men who consumed six or more cups daily were 10 per cent less likely to die compared with those who did not drink coffee. For women, there were 15 per cent fewer deaths for those drinking six cups or more.
The findings showed that there was a marginal difference for men drinking one cup per day, but those drinking two to three cups a day were 10 per cent less likely to die. Those drinking four or five cups per day were 12 per cent less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers, the New England Journal of Medicine reported.
For women there was no effect seen for one cup or less per day. Those drinking two or three cups were five per cent less likely to die compared to those who drank none at all and those drinking four or five cups were 16 per cent less likely to die, according to the Telegraph.
Researchers said the effect was seen across almost all causes of death including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.
However, critics said it was ‘biologically implausible’ that coffee drinkers would be less likely to die in accidents.
The researchers said that it cannot be proven that drinking coffee was the cause of the lower death rate and it may be that other factors about coffee drinkers that influenced the findings.
Neal Freedman, from the National Cancer Institute, Maryland, US, wrote: “Given the observational nature of our study, it is not possible to conclude that the inverse relationship between coffee consumption and mortality reflects cause and effect.”
“However, we can speculate about plausible mechanisms by which coffee consumption might have health benefits. Coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds that might affect the risk of death,” Freedman said.
“The most well-studied compound is caffeine, although similar associations for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee in the current study and a previous study suggest that, if the relationship between coffee consumption and mortality were causal, other compounds in coffee (e.g antioxidants, including polyphenols) might be important,” Freedman concluded.