Oh crap, now I’m going to have to start drinking coffee.

A new report emerged recently about the benefits of drinking coffee, and it’s leaving me conflicted.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it used data from people taking part in a large genetic study in Britain called the U.K. Biobank. More than half a million people volunteered to give blood and answer health and lifestyle questions for research on genes and health.

The study looked at who drank coffee, how much and what kind of coffee. It also looked for differences in several genes involved in metabolizing caffeine.

Death rates over a 10-year period were examined, and it was discovered that people who drank coffee — no matter how much or what kind they drank — were less likely to die over that 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers.

Even people who said they drank more than eight cups of coffee a day were less likely to die, on average, than non-coffee drinkers.

I don’t drink coffee. I tried it when I was about 8. I took a sip out of my dad’s mug and thought it was horrendous.

Many, many years later I tried a flavored coffee and liked it, but saw no sense in starting that habit.

I’m still reluctant to jump on the java train even if it takes me further down the road.

I did away with much of my caffeine in-take years ago, giving up soda pop. In fact, I had my first bottle of pop in about three or four years when I thought I needed something to keep me awake last week near the end of a long drive.

I guess it worked. I never felt drowsy on the drive home. In fact, sleep did not come easily when I got home.

I remembered why I liked to drink soda. The sweet sugary taste is addicting, but I’d rather live without it.

Some people say they cannot start their day without coffee.

I don’t have any trouble getting up in the morning since I started running. I actually cannot wait to wake up each morning so I can run. Is that normal?

The study on coffee drinkers came up with several reasons coffee may extend your life.

It is the No. 1 source in the American diet of antioxidants, which are chemical compounds that fight the damage to DNA caused by day-to-day living.

It might reduce inflammation in the body, improve how insulin gets used, help liver function, and benefit the linings of the blood vessels.

There is some evidence coffee can help people recover from colon cancer, lower diabetes risk and reduce the inflammation associated with diabetes and heart disease.

It may also protect against diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer.

While caffeine in large amounts can kill, it takes more than 20 cups at once.

It seems like that is a lot of “it might” and “some evidence” for any conclusive evidence, and it certainly is not enough to make me start drinking coffee.

Of course, if I end up dying 10 years earlier than I want to, I’ll know where I went wrong.

You can come to my funeral. There’ll be coffee afterwards.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.