Scientists have discovered that an underlying inflammatory process that triggers cardiovascular health issues among the elderly can be countered by caffeine. The new study adds to the growing body of research demonstrating the many health benefits of drinking coffee.
Scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine have managed to connect aging with cardiovascular disease, coffee consumption, and systemic inflammation after a comprehensive analysis of blood samples, data gathered in surveys, and the family history of more than 100 subjects. The multiyear research suggests that there is a basic inflammatory mechanism associated with aging and chronic disease.
Coffee Consumption Lowers Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Among Elderly
The study, published Jan. 16 in the journal Nature Medicine, suggests that the inflammatory process subjected to study is actually a driver of cardiovascular disease and contributes to increased mortality rates.
Metabolites, the by-products of nucleic acid metabolism circulating in the blood, were found to cause the inflammatory process in some people. Nucleic acids are the molecules that function as building blocks for genes.
David Furman, lead author of the study and consulting associate professor at Stanford, noted that more than a thousand research papers have shown that chronic inflammation is one of the causes for developing a series of cancer types, as well as Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, depression and osteoarthritis.
"More than 90 percent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation," Furman said. "It's also well-known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Many studies have shown this association. We've found a possible reason for why this may be so."
The researchers found that caffeine could prevent the action of these nucleic acid metabolites through the action of its own metabolites, which could explain why people who drink coffee are documented to live longer than non-coffee drinkers.
Furthermore, the research suggests that an inflammatory process, which is linked to aging, can be countered, thus preventing a series of health issues in older patients. According to the study, the inflammatory process was not triggered in all the analyzed patients, but only in some of them. The researchers were able to establish a connection between drinking caffeine-based beverages and the smaller chance of developing the inflammation.
"Inflammasomes can drive chronic inflammation in the context of an infectious disease or cellular stress ... Thus, targeting inflammasome components may ameliorate chronic inflammation and various other age-associated conditions," noted the researchers.
Drinking Coffee Provides Multiple Health Benefits
Coffee has often been subjected to research in correlation with a wide range of potential benefits. One recent research linked coffee consumption in women with a lower risk of developing dementia, showing that consuming more than 261 milligrams of coffee daily could lead to a 36 percent drop in incident dementia risk.
Another research linked coffee consumption with a reduced impact of liver disease.
"Certainly moderate amounts of coffee, depending on the liver disease you're looking at, seem to be associated with less liver damage and probably less liver fat, as well," noted one of the team members in charge of the study.