STATES CHRONICLE – A new Stanford study found a link between caffeine consumption and longevity, or more exactly, its effects on the immune system.
Coffee and caffeine-based products are a staple product in our daily lives. Who here does not use them for a boost in the morning? Whether you love it or hate it, caffeine has its advantages.
Quite a number of studies have outlined them. Others went to point out caffeine’s potential risk factors. A team of Stanford researchers chose a different approach. They studied the caffeine’s effect on the immune system.
The researchers were led by Mark Davis. He is a Stanford University Professor. Davis is also the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation, and Infection Director. Study results were released earlier this week. They were published in the Nature Medicine journal.
Released on January 16, the study is titled as follows. “Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states”.
Scientists have known the following for quite some time. Caffeine can help block adenosine. Or more exactly, its effects. These can have a direct impact on brain cells. To put it more simply, this can help wake us up.
But blocking adenosine may also have an effect on the body. This was a previously unknown fact. But it was determined by the current study. Davis, the aforementioned lead, offered details.
According to him, the discovery was quite a surprise. Caffeine could block adenosine proteins in the body. It would lead to the blocking of certain pathways. These were seen to produce inflammatory cells.
Chronic inflammation is associated with aging. And to about 90 percent of its noncommunicable diseases.
The study was not initially based on caffeine. It began as a research on aging. Study participants are involved in a long-term research. Gene samples from 114 people were analyzed. More exactly, their use of specific genes. These latter help produce proteins.
People aged 60 to 89 were seen to produce more immune molecules. These went to the inflammasome system. This protein clump can activate interleukin 1 beta. Also known as IL-1B, it is an important molecule.
It can help fight against infections. But it can also lead to chronic diseases. These may appear if the IL-1B quantity is too high. Or if’s been in the body too long.
The research found the following. 12 study participants had too much IL-1B. Another 11 had less than usual. These later were also seen to be healthier.
They had more flexible arteries and a low blood pressure. And they family genetics was somewhat better. They had more relatives aged 90+.
But the breakthrough came from the following. They had lower levels of adenosine. And also adenine, its relative. And that’s where caffeine comes in.
Caffeine is known to block its effects. So it may be blocking body adenine and adenosine as well. Researchers tested this theory. They followed up the patients with a questionnaire. This included their beverage customs.
The less inflamed group admitted to drinking more caffeine-based products. These may include coffee, tea, and soda beverages.
High blood levels of caffeine were linked to lower 1L-1B levels. As such, caffeine products may potentially help increase longevity. But science has not determined how they reduce the inflammatory molecule levels.
The results are significant. But also not enough. They cannot be the base for a new behavioral recommendation. Still, they provided us with laboratory tests and demonstrations.
Tea’s theophylline and chocolate’s theobromine compounds may also help. But the scientists point out a fact. These compounds alone will not ensure a longer life. Each person’s immune system is still the biggest reason.
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