Some good news and bad news for coffee drinkers: The good news is that people who drink the most, live the longest, according to a new study.
The bad news? By "most" I mean a lot of coffee -- a quart and a half a day, every day.
Juan Valdez probably doesn't drink that much, but researchers say their study of more than 400,000 people finds that men who drank six cups a day -- that's 48 piping hot ounces -- had a 10 percent lower risk of death during the 14-year study than non-drinkers.
Women got an even bigger boost, with those who drank those same six or more daily cups 15 percent less likely to die during the study than those who drank none at all.
The benefits -- if they really came from the coffee -- didn't come from the caffeine, since the researchers found that decaf drinkers shared the lower death risk.
That's good news for the millions of people who can't tolerate caffeine, or can't tolerate it very well. In addition, even people who can drink a cup or two with no ill effects will find themselves battling everything from the jitters to sleeplessness when they try to knock back a quart and a half a day.
But coffee is a lot more than a cup of caffeine. Regular and decaf coffee is actually chock full o' antioxidants, and studies have found that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of everything from dementia and Parkinson's disease to diabetes.
That said, you don't need to drink a quart and a half a day to get plenty of healthy antioxidants. You don't even have to drink coffee -- because tea, especially green tea, is also loaded with antioxidants, and studies have found that green tea drinkers enjoy even more benefits than coffee drinkers.
But there's an even better way to get your antioxidants, and that's from fresh vegetable juices. Not only are they both delicious and refreshing, but they also won't elevate blood pressure or aggravate heart rhythm problems as coffee and tea can do to some patients.