Why might coffee drinkers live longer? Study sheds light

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Coffee drinkers may live longer. This has been the conclusion of numerous studies during recent years. Now, researchers believe that they may have uncovered one of the mechanisms underlying this association.
Researchers say that they may have pinpointed one reason why coffee drinkers might live longer. In a new study, researchers reveal the discovery of an inflammatory process that might drive the development of cardiovascular disease in later life. They also found that caffeine consumption could counter this inflammatory process.
Lead author David Furman, Ph.D., of the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University in California, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Nature Medicine.
Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate are all commonly consumed foods and beverages that contain caffeine – a compound best known for its brain-stimulating abilities.
However, there is much more to caffeine than simply providing a morning energy boost. A number of studies have suggested that regular coffee intake may increase longevity. One study published in 2015, for example, found that coffee drinkers who consumed one to five cups per day had a lower risk of all-cause mortality than people who did not.
Now, Furman and colleagues say that they may have pinpointed one way by which caffeine consumption increases lifespan, and it may be down to its anti-inflammatory properties.
For their study, the researchers first set out to identify the inflammatory processes that might contribute to poor heart health in older age.
The team analyzed data from the Stanford-Ellison cohort, including one group of healthy adults aged between 20 and 30, and one group of healthy adults aged 60 and older.
Upon assessing the blood samples of each participant, the researchers identified two gene clusters that were more highly activated in the older group. They found that these gene clusters were linked to the production of IL-1-beta, a type of circulating inflammatory protein.
High gene cluster activity linked to inflammation Next, the team assessed 23 older subjects, dividing them into two groups based on whether they had high or low activity in one or both of the gene clusters. The researchers then analyzed the medical history of each older participant. Among the 12 subjects who had high gene cluster activity, nine had high blood pressure, compared with only one of the 11 participants who had low gene cluster activity.