DRINKING up to three cups of coffee a day slashes the risk of stroke or heart disease, a study suggests.
Those who regularly enjoy it in moderation were found to be 12 per cent less likely to die young.
And MRI scans showed they had healthier sized and better functioning hearts, as coffee even appeared to slow down the effects of ageing.
Other health benefits are said to include protection from diabetes, liver disease and dementia, as well as giving a boost to the fat-burning metabolism.
Researcher Dr Judit Simon said: “Our results suggest regular coffee consumption is safe and 0.5 to three cups of coffee per day was associated with lower risks of stroke, death from heart disease, and death from any cause.”
Dr Simon and her team looked at 11 years’ worth of medical records from people in the UK Biobank database study, starting at an average age of 56.
They found average coffee drinkers had a 21 per cent lower chance of having a stroke and a 17 per cent lower risk of dying of heart disease.
Those on more than three cups a day or none at all did not enjoy the same health kick, they told the European Society of Cardiology Congress.
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Hungary-based Dr Simon, aggiunto: “Compared with people who did not drink coffee regularly, daily consumers had healthier sized and better functioning hearts. This was consistent with reversing the effects of ageing on the heart.”
Heart disease is the biggest killer of British men and second biggest for women, claiming over 60,000 lives a year.