The issue of whether coffee is beneficial to health is a controversial one, as new reports are published daily. Some of them suggest drinking coffee is dangerous, others claim it could bring significant health benefits. A recent research contributes to it by saying drinking four cups of coffee a day is just the right amount to help your heart stay healthy.
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Hundreds of researches looking into what effect coffee has on health revealed it could be recommended as part of a healthy diet, unless you suffer from hypertension or some other disease which prevents you from drinking coffee. A new study backs the idea that coffee should be consumed daily, and it even has the answer to the question of how much coffee is enough to reap the benefits.
Actually, it’s not the coffee in the general that is attributed the praised effects, but caffeine found in it. It was reported that caffeine could help prevent stroke and development of diabetes, as well as aid you some other ways. However, the mechanism behind the effects remained unknown.
In a new study, German scientists aimed to find out what cellular pathways are affected by caffeine. In their previous research, they demonstrated that the amount of caffeine contained in four cups can help improve the condition of the endothelial cells which are found in blood vessels and used there as a lining. Besides, there was evidence that it has something to do with mitochondria, which are organelles specializing in supplying the body with energy, which is why they are often called powerhouses.
In the course of the new experiment, they found what exactly in mitochondria reacts to the intake of caffeine. It turned out to be an enzyme called p27. Its function is to slow down the cell cycle, hindering cell division. When introduced into the body, caffeine forces p27 to get inside mitochondria and trigger the processes needed for repairing the heart muscle. p27 makes endothelial cells move more actively and helps protect the heart cells from apoptosis (cell death). Besides, the enzyme is capable of promoting fibroblast activity, which leads to an increased production of contractile fibers used to build tissues.
Having observed the effect, the researchers conducted an experiment in which various mice models were exposed to large doses of caffeine equivalent to four cups of coffee. The models were old, prediabetic, and obese. In these rodents, the effect was noticeable: caffeine appeared to have a protective effect on the heart.
The study findings suggest a recommendation to increase intake of coffee among the elderly could be a good idea, as the population is aging, and prevention is an important aspect of keeping the armies of the elderly healthy and saving the money spent on healthcare.
The implications are not limited to coffee: the effect p27 has on endothelial cells could possibly be used in therapies aimed at improving healthspan.
A controversial one
Despite the finding that the invigorating drink can be beneficial to health, one should be careful when deciding to increase intake of coffee. It is especially important to evaluate risks of consuming caffeine-rich foods and drinks if it’s an elderly person, and here are several reasons for it. One of them is that long-term exposure of the body to caffeine (even if the dose is low) can exacerbate some of the symptoms characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease which are related to behavior, including anxiety.
Before encouraging your seniors to drink more coffee, consult a doctor to make sure they do not have hypertension.
Drinking coffee may be associated with reduced risk of heart failure and stroke –Newsroom.heart.org