Caffeine Found to Reduce Age-Related Inflammation


By incubating immune cells with caffeine and its breakdown products along with the inflammation-triggering nucleic acid metabolites, the researchers were able to prevent the latter from exerting their powerful inflammatory effect on the cells. In short, coffee drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers.

The caffeine in your morning cup of coffee may do more than perk you up.

Director of the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection and study author Professor Mark Davis says the link between a reduction in inflammation and caffeine is not causal.

"More than 90 per cent of all noncommunicable diseases of ageing are associated with chronic inflammation", said lead author David Furman from Stanford.

A scientific study has found a link between caffeine consumption and a reduced risk of systemic inflammation - a process that can lead to a spate of chronic diseases including cancer, dementia, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and even depression. Now researchers at Stanford University believe they may have hit on a reason why having a coffee or tea break is so good for us.

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They also discovered that among the older participants in the study, there were 12 individuals who had "high activation" of the genes that code for IL-1β - nine of them had high blood pressure.

Adults in the high gene cluster activity group also had high concentrations of IL-1-beta in their blood, as well as increased activity of free radicals - which are uncharged molecules that can cause cell damage - and a number of nucleic acid metabolites that are produced by free radical activity. They also had higher levels of substances known as nucleic-acid metabolites. The researchers found that older people who had lower levels of inflammation had something in common: They all drank caffeine regularly. Higher coffee consumption was associated with lower amyloid levels, an inflammatory marker in the blood.

To further verify their findings, the researchers conducted tests: first, they injected mice with the metabolites to show that they do induce an inflammatory response; and second, they incubated immune cells with both the metabolites and caffeine to show that caffeine was indeed acting to prevent inflammation. We didn't give some of the mice coffee and the others decaf.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States have unearthed a connection between advancing age, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and coffee consumption.

Extensive analysis of blood samples, survey data and medical and family histories obtained from more than 100 human participants in a multiyear study showed a fundamental inflammatory mechanism associated with human ageing and the chronic diseases that come with it.