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Coffee: The good-for-you brew

coffeeWhether it’s Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Seattle’s Best or one of the hundreds of coffee makers out there, coffee is a big part of American culture. For years, researchers have been trying to determine coffee’s health effects, but studies usually end with mixed results.

But according to the latest study by the National Cancer Institute, coffee may reduce the risk of early death for those who drink three or more cups a day. The study, which followed more than 400,000 U.S. adults, ages 50 to 71, for 12 years, found that java lovers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections. The study says the results were similar for regular and decaffeinated coffee drinkers.

Study authors are quick to point out that the findings don’t prove that coffee makes people live longer. The participants didn’t report their brewing method, such as steeping (with a French press) or pressure brewing (as espresso is made), which can affect the many compounds the beverage contains. Instead, they say, the results “provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health.”