How coffee extends your life - especially if you are a man
Coffee not only helps you feel full of beans - it might add years to your life as well, two major studies have shown.
Scientists in Europe and the US have uncovered the clearest evidence yet that drinking coffee reduces the risk of death.
One study of more than half a million people from 10 European countries found that men who downed at least three cups of coffee a day were 18pc less likely to die from any cause than non-coffee drinkers.
Women drinking the same amount benefited less, but still experienced an 8pc reduction in mortality over the period measured.
Similar results were reported by American scientists who conducted a separate investigation, recruiting 185,855 participants from different ethnic backgrounds.
Irrespective of ethnicity, people who drank two to three cups of coffee daily had an 18pc reduced risk of death.
Each of the studies, both published in the journal 'Annals of Internal Medicine', showed no advantage from drinking either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.
Experts believe the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee rather than caffeine are responsible for the life-extending effect.
Previous research has suggested that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and some cancers.
Dr Marc Gunter, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, who led the European study with colleagues from Imperial College London, 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."
Dr Gunter's team examined data from 521,330 participants in the Epic (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study.
The investigation spanned 10 European countries including the UK, France, Denmark and Italy.
The Danes drank the most coffee by volume - 900ml per person per day - and the Italians the least.