At last, there’s good news for those of us who live life in a series of coffee-breaks punctuated by periods of anxiety-filled withdrawal.

According to a new study, drinking three to five cups of coffee each day is correlated with a 15 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from diabetes, heart disease, suicide or Parkinson’s. The study, published by researchers at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health in the journal Circulation, found that the benefits were markedly higher when people drank a “moderate” amount of coffee — rather than just one or two cups.

The study used data from surveys of over 300,000 nurses and health professionals who answer questions over a period of 30 years.

Scientists have been examining the health benefits of coffee for years, finding research that notes it may help decrease the risk of stroke and Type 2 diabetes, as well as increase cognitive functioning.

It’s not exactly clear just why coffee beans are having these particular health effects, study co-author Walter Willet told NPR.

We’re not sure exactly how coffee is [linked] to all these benefits. The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals. And my guess is that they’re working together to have some of these benefits.

There’s no direct causation or a perfect recommended dose yet, but the evidence suggesting that drinking coffee can have considerable health benefits is compelling.

Researchers caution that the findings don’t apply to everyone, and that too much coffee can lead to insomnia and lack of sleep. Also, the study didn’t take into include questions on supplements like caffeine pills. The jury’s still out on those, but — I don’t know, they seem pretty safe to me.

[Image via Getty]

Contact the author at