For anyone who has been told that you drink way too much coffee, there’s good news about your caffeine addiction. You can now rest easy in the knowledge that those multiple cups of joe may actually help you live longer than those who don’t understand the need for your daily fix.
Stanford University researchers came upon this information during an ongoing study related to aging. What they found was that a certain group of study participants had lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their blood. The study, published online in Nature Medicine, followed people aged 20–30 and a second group of people aged 60. Further tests showed that caffeine played an active role in blocking chemicals that cause age-related inflammation—a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease.
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Participants who drank multiple cups of coffee a day had extremely low activity levels in the inflammatory gene pathway. Stanford University School of Medicine’s Dr. David Furman, who co-authored the study, explained that caffeine inhibits this pathway which contributes to chronic inflammation and various chronic diseases. “The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation.”
To further investigate their findings, the research team also incubated immune cells in mice with caffeine. The results confirmed that the caffeine prohibited an inflammatory effect on the cells. “That something many people drink—and actually like to drink—might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us,” said study co-author Dr. Mark Davis. “We didn’t give some of the mice coffee and the others decaf. What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity.”