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Coffee breakthrough

Coffee can extend your lifespan, or perhaps shorten in. Researchers keep coming up with contradictory findings about the popular beverage. Perhaps they're all over- )or under-) caffeinated.

Just when we thought it was safe to pick up the coffee pot again, a group of scientists has come along to spoil everything with a new revelation about our favourite caffeinated beverage.

Hot on the heels of research indicating that coffee drinking makes us happier and extends life expectancy, another bunch of boffins has released data that appears to say the opposite.

Perhaps confirming that research in this field is as muddled as a caffeine-addled brain, scientists from the University of South Carolina have determined that drinking four or more cups a day increases a person's risk of dying from a range of causes.

The analysis of the medical records of more than 40,000 people, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, shows that the connection exists only for people under 55.

But, as one of the researchers told The Guardian, "the exact mechanism between coffee and mortality still needs clarification". In other words, they don't know why it is.

Maybe things will become clearer if the scientists drink less coffee.

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