Friday, June 22, 2018

Is Caffeine a Wonder Drug?

Time and experience have taught us to be skeptical over the latest news from the world of healthy eating. Remember when eggs and butter were going to kill you? Remember when a diet of grass and twigs was going to save your life.

So, the following news, deriving from a study of mouse circulatory systems, should be taken with a grain of skepticism. I post if for the amusement value.

It’s good news for coffee drinkers. It turns out that drinking four cups of coffee a day will protect and repair heart muscles, especially for retirees.

Naturally, we find this news in The Daily Mail.

Pensioners should drink four cups of coffee a day to protect and repair their heart muscle, research suggests.

Levels of caffeine, equivalent to drinking four cups of coffee, could help to protect healthy blood vessels and repair the heart after a heart attack, a study claims.

The stimulant boosts a protein known to be important in regenerating heart cells, and which could also protect them from damage.

Caffeine is thought to lower the risk for diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, but the reasons for this are not well understood.

German researchers now think caffeine may make cells which line the arteries and veins healthier, improving their ability to resist or recover from damage.

The scientists say their findings 'should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle', and another expert called the results 'very interesting'.

They suggest caffeine could particularly benefit elderly people, whose hearts may be naturally weaker and more at risk of damage.

It turns out that caffeine is a wonder drug:

Research by Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Dusseldorf, Germany, discovered the health-boosting effects of caffeine on heart cells.

They found the drug – which is also found in tea and soft drinks like Coca Cola – improves the function of cells lining the heart and blood vessels.

It does this by encouraging the movement of a vital protein – called p27 – into the cells. 

Caffeine also strengthens mitochondria, which give cells their energy, so they are more able to keep cells healthy and protect them, the study says.

Caffeine protects the hearts of ageing, pre-diabetic and obese mice.

The research, done on mice, showed caffeine protected the hearts of pre-diabetic, obese and old mice.

The researchers suggest it could offer the same benefits to elderly people, whose hearts are more at risk of damage and may have weaker cells. 


Ares Olympus said...

I wonder what effect that will have on "pensioners" sleep? Or at least they say older people don't stay asleep for a full 8 hours like they could when they were younger.

What's with the 4 cups? 2 or 3 aren't good enough? I tend to think scientists should have more humility than to take one criterion as positive and imagine it overrides everything else.

Sam L. said...

I don't drink coffee. I do drink tea. I suspect what gets "pensioners" up in the night is their bladders.

Illuninati said...

Obviously, this is preliminary research on an animal model but it may well apply to humans. Studies have demonstrated that heavy coffee intake is associated with a decreased rate of Alzheimer disease which in turn is probably triggered by small vessel disease in some cases. So if caffeine improves the function of small vessels in the brain, that could explain the decreased incidence of Alzheimer disease in coffee drinkers.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you....

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Curious. Are their health benefits to amphetamines?