A new study suggests that people who drink around three cups of coffee each day may have longer lives than non-coffee drinkers.
The analysis saw scientists using data from 500,000 people across Europe to explore how coffee consumption affects the risk of death.
Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London discovered that consuming more coffee was linked to lower risk of death, particularly from digestive and circulatory diseases.
Despite mixed messages over the health benefits of coffee, it is believed that 55 million cups are drunk everyday by Brits.
Lead author Dr Marc Gunter of the IARC said: “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases.
“Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs.
“Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”
Data from 521,330 people across Europe, all of whom were over the age of 35, was examined by the researchers. The diets of the participants were required to answer questionnaires, with the study finding that people in Denmark drinking the most coffee (900ml per day) and Italy the lowest amount (92ml per day).
The study found that people who drank more coffee tended to be younger, eat more meat and were more likely to be smokers.
Over the course of the study, 42,000 people died; the researchers adjusted for lifestyle factors and found that those with a higher level of coffee consumption had a lower risk of death.
Men who drank three cups of coffee a day had an 18 per cent lower risk of death, whereas women with this level of coffee consumption were 8 per cent less likely to die than their peers.
The study is published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.