Caffeine May Slow Aging


(Cleveland) Recent research is suggesting that regular coffee drinkers might be able to slow elements of the aging process.

Michael Roizen, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but said it showed that folks who were life-long consumers of caffeine had some real benefits.

“They got it mainly from chocolate and caffeine, that is coffee, and those people had a decrease in gene expression which causes inflammation,” said Dr. Roizen.

Researchers looked at 100 people over more than a decade and found that older folks who had less inflammation had reported drinking more caffeinated beverages.

Many chronic diseases that folks face as they age are connected to inflammation and the body’s inflammatory process is a driver of heart disease and increased rates of death.

Dr. Roizen said the results aren’t surprising, as previous studies have shown coffee’s effect on inhibiting Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fatty liver disease and decreasing the likelihood of certain cancers, many of which are also linked to inflammation.

But he said that more research needs to be done to determine why caffeine can help reduce inflammation.

Dr. Roizen also added that for folks who are ‘slow’ metabolizers, the negative effects of coffee may outweigh the positive gains.

“If coffee gives you headaches, or abnormal heart beats, or anxiety of gastric upset, this is not a reason to start,” said Dr. Roizen. “If you like dark chocolate, that’s another way to start to get your caffeine.”

Dr. Roizen also pointed out that not all coffee has health benefits.  He said that folks who add cream and sugar are doing more harm than good as the extras only increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. He said filtered, black coffee is best.

Photo credit    Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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