(IN PHOTO)Cups of cappuccino sit on a table during the World Coffee Conference in Guatemala City February 26, 2010. Guatemala will produce less coffee than previously forecast in the 2009/10 season due to bad weather, increasing pressure on already tight global supplies, the head of the national growers group Anacafe said on Friday. REUTERS

New research suggests that drinking coffee is associated with longer life. Two major studies involved more than 700,000 people and found that the more coffee consumed, the less likely to die young from disease such as diabetes, cancer and various heart ailments.

Both studies have been published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine under the titles “Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations” and “Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries: A Multinational Cohort Study.” One of the studies analysed data from research that tracked more than 520,000 people from 10 European countries for an average of 16.4 years. The researchers found that the more coffee the participants consumed, the lower their risk of death.

There is also a lower risk of diseases of the circulatory and digestive system. Coffee consumption was also related to lower risk of suicide for men. The top 25 percent of coffee drinkers from the study had three or more cuppas a day. Among that group, men were 12 percent less likely to die early than those who avoided coffee completely. Women who consumed coffee were seven percent less likely to die early. This study focused primarily on Europeans, while the second study, on the other hand, involved Americans of different ethnicities.

It should be noted that the two studies are strictly observational. It is not possible to establish cause and effect. Hence, it is impossible to say that drinking coffee will extend a person’s life. This is also not the first research to find benefits of drinking coffee. Previous research has linked coffee consumption to improved blood sugar levels, liver function and inflammation. [In Case You Missed It: Coffee can aid weight loss by increasing metabolism, suppressing appetite and burning fatty acids]

The recent studies also found that decaf coffee can be associated to longevity. This could mean it is not the caffeine that is associated with the positive effects human health. Researchers believe that the benefits could come from other compounds in coffee, especially antioxidant polyphenols.

Caffeine has also been associated with certain health benefits. According to Business Insider, which first published this story, even if the new findings may not prove that coffee increases longevity, at least people should not feel guilty about having a cuppa. However, researchers stress that it doesn't mean people should have unlimited coffee as that will eventually affect their health in a negative way. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on drinking coffee and the health benefits associated with it.