Study Says Coffee Increases Longevity, Just Don’t Caffeine Yourself to Death Like Balzac.

Coffee: giving you energy for the next hour and … a longer life? Photo: Melissa Hom

Coffee is many things. A finalist in the World Cup of Best Ice Cream Flavors. The only thing keeping you awake right now. A stimulant to which we’re all terribly, terribly addicted. It’s also, according to the latest food study, the fountain of youth humanity has sought for centuries and even crossed oceans for. To think: It was roasted bean water all along!

The study by the United Kingdom’s National Cancer Institute purports that drinking coffee can help you live longer. The study surveyed 500,000 adults in Britain, and found that after a ten-year period the coffee drinkers had a, uh, lower risk of death than non-coffee drinkers. Of course, everyone has the same risk of death, which is 100 percent.

Those surveyed answered questions about their coffee, smoking, and drinking habits and medical history, among other things. The coffee drinkers of all levels were 10 to 15 percent less likely to die than those who didn’t drink coffee. But! The great news is that, according to the study, in the meantime you can continue to be a caffeine addict and drink up to eight cups of coffee a day in your efforts to live longer.

Look, it seems like there’s a food or drink study for anything you want to believe is good for you. Food companies fund studies to prove that their goods are healthy; one major producer of studies, Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, was found to be publishing shoddy research. So, broadly speaking, take these studies with lots of grains of salt, which is good for your blood pressure! Coffee alone has been the subject of other studies claiming that it’s good for your heart, prevents liver disease, and more.

If you’re thinking eight cups of coffee a day sounds like a lot, you’re not even trying. David Lynch used to drink 20 cups a day. Balzac reportedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day, which sounds like enough for a small elephant. Maybe don’t do that, though, because he got caffeine poisoning. Apparently, your likeliness for death can only be decreased so much.

Coffee Will Keep You Awake and Alive Longer, Study Says