Dole’s Chairman, David H. Murdock, swears by the six cups of coffee he drinks each day…now new scientific research backs him up.  Coffee drinkers are less likely to die of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and a host of other ailments — even accidents or injury!

In the largest research undertaking of its kind, 400,000 men and women enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study were followed over a thirteen-year span to see how coffee habits correlated with longevity.  The result: Coffee drinkers were up to 16% more likely to live longer, with a generally dose-dependent effect — as in the more you drink, the longer you’ll live.

For years, conventional wisdom held that coffee drinking wasn’t good for you — perhaps reinforced by the fact that in general, coffee drinkers are also more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, eat red meat, and skimp on fruit and vegetables.  But when researchers controlled for such lifestyle factors, coffee emerged to possibly confer a longevity benefit, across a wide range of illnesses.  Why might this be?  Researchers credit some of the 1,000-plus compounds in coffee, which may have antioxidant effects.  Caffeine, however, does not appear to deserve the credit, as both regular and decaf coffee drinkers derived a longevity bump — with decaf drinkers even enjoying a lower risk of diabetes.

Bottom line: As long as you maintain healthy habits in other areas of life, you’ll likely live longer if you drink coffee.

Published February 1, 2014