Credit: © EYESITE / Alamy

Every now and then you meet some crazy kook who questions your “excessive” coffee drinking habit. (Or maybe that’s just me?) Well, now you can put all the non-believers in their place. A new study says that drinking quantities of coffee bordering on ridiculous may actually come with some amazing health benefits.

A study published this week from the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health found that people who drink three to five cups of coffee per day may be less likely to die prematurely than people who drink less coffee or abstain completely. Regardless of whether they drank regular or decaf, those in the study showed a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, diabetes and even suicide when they landed in that three to five cup sweet spot.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition and one of the study’s authors. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

The study looked at over 200,000 people using data gathered from other studies, taking into account “confounding factors” such as smoking, alcohol, exercise, diet and weight. Also, despite the reduced mortality risk from some causes, the findings showed no correlation between coffee drinking and cancer risks.

“This study provides further evidence that moderate consumption of coffee may confer health benefits in terms of reducing premature death due to several diseases,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology.

Hold on, Harvard considers three to five cups of coffee a day “moderate”? No wonder those guys are so smart. They never sleep.