Many people associate coffee with sugary beverages, and they tell themselves they need to cut back. While cutting coffee with five tablespoons of sugar or drinking three frozen drinks with several syrups and extra whipped cream is bad for you, black coffee, or coffee with a little cream and sugar can be good for you.

WCVB reports that two studies by Annals of Internal Medicine have proven that coffee can decrease your risk of death. Further research confirms that coffee lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Now researchers believe coffee may help people live longer.

A study examined more than 185,000 "coffee-drinking patterns" for 16 years. Researchers found that the more coffee these 185,000 plus people consumed, the less likely they were to die from harmful diseases. People who drank four or more cups per day decreased their possibility of dying by 18% compared to people who never drank coffee.

A second study in Europe with 520,000 people in 10 countries over 16 years also proved that drinking coffee decreased the risk of death.

Each study took harmful acts such as smoking and other elements into account that could have changed these results.

Veronica Setiawan, the leader of the U.S. study and epidemiologist at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California said, "I was surprised by how consistently our findings fit in relative to what has been previously published. It's surprising and very reassuring. More than half of Americans drink coffee so it's very important to understand its health impact."

Setiawan's team found that regular coffee intake lowered the chance of death by decreasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.

The health benefits coffee offers are the same in decaffeinated coffee. The bioactive chemicals in coffee are what makes it so healthy.

Despite all the health benefits coffee intake offers, Dr. Eliseo Guallar, a professor at John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health, said in an editorial, "Recommending coffee intake to reduce morality or prevent chronic disease would be premature. However, it is increasingly evident that moderate coffee intake... can be incorporated into a healthy diet."

So, coffee cannot be marketed as a "nature's cure-all medicine," but it does offer many health benefits.

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