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A new study from the Mayo Clinic has found that coffee is the nectar of death and that drinking four cups or more a day will shorten your life ... which goes against a previous study from the National Institutes of Health that said coffee was the life-sustaining ambrosia of the gods and that four cups or more could actually extend lives. New York's Daily News has the results of the latest coffee study, which says the magic threshold is four cups:

Drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week - about four per day - was linked to a 21% higher mortality rate in men and women of all ages, and a 50% higher mortality rate in people under 55 years old, according to a study of 40,000 people...

The data showed coffee drinkers were more likely to be smokers and had lower fitness levels, but the mortality findings held true after researchers controlled for those factors.

So that means even if you're exercising and partaking in healthy choices, coffee is still linked to your shortened life. And this means that everyone should, of course, start cherishing whatever remaining minutes we have left with Chuck "Grande Master" Todd. It's only a matter of time before he turns brittle, fades from this earth, leaving only three strands of facial hair and a puddle of frappucino. But the particular concern and group that these findings should worry most are young coffee drinkers who already have four-cup habits who see the most drastic rise in mortality rate. 

This the latest study on coffee which we have already found out makes you less depressed, and makes women feel randy. But what good is that, for everyone including Chuck Todd, if we're all going to have short lives? Not to fear. 

It was just last year that the National Institutes of Health told us that coffee was a life-extender. The Atlantic's Brian Fung (now at WaPo) explained that the doctors and researchers at the NIH found (what appears to be) conflicting information: 

According to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who drank four or five cups of coffee a day tended to live longer than those who drank only a cup or less. The benefit was more pronounced for women, but men also stand to gain somewhat from pounding joe.

Coffee-drinking men cut their risk for death by 12 percent after four to five cups of java, according to the study, which was led by the National Institutes of Health's Neal Freedman. Women who drank the same amount had their the risk of death reduced by 16 percent.

So who do you believe? Obviously, neither Mayor Clinic nor the NIH are WebMD, the cruel, choose-your-own-adventure-that-always-ends-in-cancer website. Maybe the best course of action is just to let you decide which study is correct, and we fully recognize that how much coffee you consume a day might govern which study you're leaning toward. 

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