Once upon a time, people used to think that coffee would stunt your growth if you drank it as a youngster. In more recent years, coffee intake is regularly blamed for many different symptoms, from high blood pressure to migraines, and even heart palpitations. But science isn’t done weighing in on exactly what coffee can do for humanity, and new research suggests that the murky beverage could actually be highly effective at delaying or preventing some extremely serious ailments, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and many others. 

One study in particular, carried out by the University of Southern California thanks to funding by the National Cancer Institute, examined data on the lives of over 200,000 individuals of varying ethnicities, ages, and occupations. Regardless of all other factors, the consumption of coffee was found to be a differentiator when it comes to a number of diseases.

The research discovered that those who consumed at least on cup of coffee each day were an impressive 12 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney diseases than their peers who don’t consume coffee. Even more interesting, as the amount of coffee being consumed rises, the benefits are compounded, and those who drank two or three cups of coffee each day were a full 18 percent less likely to die from those same ailments.

Don’t like the jittery effects of coffee? That doesn’t matter, either, as even decaffeinated coffee offers these same benefits, according to the data, so you can have a calming cup of joe and still enjoy the upsides. The most recent figures on coffee consumption suggest that as much as 62 percent of Americans drink coffee every day, so there’s already lots of folks enjoying its disease-fighting magic.

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