If you start your day with a cup of coffee or two (or five), you’re in luck. New research published in the journal Circulation suggests your morning brew is actually good for you.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health compiled data from a sample size of more than 200,000 doctors, nurses and other health professionals and found that drinking between three and five cups a day did more than just raise moods, it raised life expectancies.

Participants underwent regular physical examinations over the course of 30 years. They also completed questionnaires regarding their overall diet, exercise and coffee consumption.

Those who drank even one cup of coffee per day had a 6 percent reduced risk of death compared to those who didn’t drink coffee at all. More coffee consumption meant more benefits, as well. Those who drank one to three cups of coffee saw an eight percent reduced risk, those who drank three to five cups a 15 percent reduced risk and those who drank more than five cups a day had a 12 percent reduced risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers.

“Results from this and previous studies indicate that coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle,” Frank Hu, one of the authors of the study, said.

The association between coffee and health benefits persisted even after researchers adjusted for age, alcohol consumption, B.M.I and other health factors. There was also little difference in mortality rates between those who drank caffeinated coffee and those who drank similar amounts of decaf. However, although smokers are often heavy coffee drinkers, that population did not see the same health benefits.

Although the results from the study are encouraging for coffee drinkers, one author of the study, Dr. Ming Ding, pointed out the limitations of the research.

“Our study is observational, so it’s hard to know if the positive effect is casual or not,” Ding said.

Still, previous research has shown coffee to be beneficial to health in other ways. Earlier studies have suggested compounds in coffee may be able to do everything from reducing insulin resistance to blocking fatty liver and liver scarring, so don’t be afraid to drink up.

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