Coffee lovers, good news again. You can now relish as many as eight cups a day without guilt. A new study shows consuming coffee will help you live longer. A survey covering around half-a-million British adults shows that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death over 10 years than non-coffee drinkers do.

The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo US research. This is the first large study that reveals the benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.

Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 per cent to 15 per cent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. Differences by the amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal. The journal Jama Internal Medicine has published the study.

Researchers are still not clear on how drinking coffee affects longevity. According to lead author Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the US National Cancer Institute, the 1,000 plus chemical compounds present in the coffee, including antioxidants, help in protecting cells from damage.

Other studies show that certain elements found in coffee help reduce inflammation and improves how the body uses insulin, thus lessening the chances for developing diabetes. Loftfield says the efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.