Jan 18, 2017 10:05 AM EST
Another Reason to Love Coffee: It Blocks Inflammation, Research Says
Findings from a new research conducted by Stanford University researchers give us more reasons to drink a freshly brewed aromatic cup of coffee in the morning or perhaps anytime during the day: it may help block disease-causing inflammation.
The new study, published Jan. 16 in the online journal Nature Medicine, says that caffeine is linked to lower levels of inflammation among older people, reports TIME. The finding somehow came as a surprise.
David Furman, consulting associate professor at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University, said the more caffeine people consume, the more protected they are against chronic inflammation.
This inflammation is believed to be common among chronic diseases of aging, namely diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, cancer, joint problems, and Alzheimer's disease. Furman says that while these are thought to be brought about by old age alone, the truth is that they are diseases of inflammation.
The researchers arrived at the findings after analyzing blood samples from more than 100 young and old people. They found that the older participants tend to have more activity in inflammation-related genes compared to the younger participants. These genes indicate the likelihood of a person having health problems: people with more active genes are more likely to have health problems high blood pressure or atherosclerosis.
One common denominator they found among participants who had significantly lower levels of these factors, or less active inflammation-related genes, was that they all consumed caffeine regularly. Those who drank five or more cups per day were found to have very low levels of inflammation.
The researchers explain that caffeine stops the inflammation by turning its pathway "off." They stress, however, that inflammation isn't necessarily bad: it actually helps boost the body's immunity by fighting against infections and other potentially toxic compounds. However, as a person ages the body is less able to regulate normal inflammation processes.
Mark Davis, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology and the director of the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, said in a press release that they were surprised to discover that something so common and enjoyable can be so beneficial. Perhaps this will give people more reason to get another cup of that coffee.
Just don't forget: no decaf, please.
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