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Coffee’s Superpowers Could Extend To Slowing Ageing

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(Image credit: Unknown)

Where once people shunned coffee in the belief that it was bad for you, it’s now proving tricky to keep up with the many health benefits linked to the caffeine-rich drink.

The latest potential benefit of coffee comes from a study from Stanford University School of Medicine (opens in new tab), and it’s an absolute doozy: the results indicate caffeine can reduce the inflammation linked with many age-related chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and various types of dementia. Essentially, more dramatically, and slightly less accurately, it could slow ageing.

Researchers analysed the blood of 100 young and old people, aged 20-30 or over 60 at the start of the study ten years ago. In the older group, those who had low levels of inflammation tended to drink more caffeinated drinks like coffee.

The team behind the study suggest that this reduced inflammation could be the reason for the established link between caffeine intake and longevity.

“More than 90% of all non-communicable diseases of ageing are associated with chronic inflammation,” said the study’s lead author, biochemist Dr David Furman.

“More than 1,000 papers have provided evidence that chronic inflammation contributes to many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and even depression.”

“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.”

Furthermore, the benefits seem to keep on coming the more caffeine you drink.

“The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation,” Furman told Time (opens in new tab), “There was no boundary, apparently.”

While inflammation is linked with plenty of chronic diseases, the aim is not to completely eliminate it. Inflammation is an important aspect of the immune system and helps fight off infection. The issue is when people get older, the inflammation isn’t regulated as effectively.

Dr Furman and his team aim to investigate the subject further with a study on 1,000 people. Until then, keep drinking coffee.

Nick Harris-Fry
Nick Harris-Fry

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.