Is Coffee Good For You?

Go ahead, reach for that third (or fourth) cup

Never developed a caffeine dependence during those formative college years? According to a new study from the National Cancer Institute, it might be time to start hitting up your nearest Starbucks. 

Whether it was the occasional cup or an essential part of participants' lifeblood, the study's researchers found that over a 10-year period, coffee drinkers were less likely to die than those who didn't drink the beverage at all. Average coffee drinkers had an 8 percent lower risk of premature death, while those at the higher end of the spectrum (as in, they drank six to seven cups a day), saw that number rise to 16 percent. 

"We observed an inverse association for coffee drinking with mortality, including among participants who reported drinking at least one cup per day, up to eight or more cups per day, as well as those drinking filtered, instant and decaffeinated coffee," Dr. Erikka Loftfield, the lead researcher for the study, tells Time.  

Though the experiment can't quite pin down what it is about java that makes us live a few years longer, NBC notes coffee is a leading source of antioxidants and can help in fighting inflammation and liver function; other evidence points to the drink helping reduce diabetes, Parkinson's disease and colon cancer—just the news we needed during a time when judges are labeling coffee a carcinogen.