Go ahead, have that extra cup of coffee.
Yet another study has emerged to reassure us that we aren’t ruining our minds and body with our love for caffeine.
Researchers at Stanford University have proved that a few extra cups of coffee can reduce – and actually even prevent – age-related inflammation in the body.
The study examined findings from 100 people, and showed that older participants had higher levels of an inflammatory protein called IL-1-beta compared to their younger counterparts. A great number of health problems, including pre-mature aging, a higher risk of stiff arteries and high blood pressure, are associated with the protein.
In their investigation of why older people had lower activation of the genes that encode the IL-1-beta protein, researchers found that participants who reported consuming more caffeinated drinks generally had a lower activation of the genes that cause inflammation. Compounding these findings, researchers conducted a further experiment on human cells in lab dishes.
The results showed that higher amount of caffeine in the blood correlated lower levels of inflammation.
The researchers found that incubating immune cells with caffeine and its breakdown products prevented an inflammatory effect on cells – meaning, coffee can battle inflammation before it has a chance to start.
These findings “may explain why caffeine consumption correlates with lower blood pressure,” professor of microbiology and immunology Mark Davis told Live Science.
It could also add insight on to why coffee drinkers live longer than those who prefer to live life in the decaf lane.
“More than 90 percent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation,” said the study’s lead author, David Furman, PhD, a consulting associate professor at the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection.
“It’s also well known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity,” Furman said. “Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.”
So, don’t feel guilty for taking another well-deserved coffee break.