Drinking coffee helps live longer


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For thousands of years, coffee has been one of the two or three most popular beverages on earth. But it's only recently that scientists are figuring out that the drink has notable health benefits.

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Drinking coffee helps live longer

  1. 1. DRINKING COFFEEHELPS LIVE LONGERFor thousands of years, coffee hasbeen one of the two or three mostpopular beverages on earth. But itsonly recently that scientists arefiguring out that the drink has notablehealth benefits. In one large-scaleepidemiological study from last year,researchers primarily at the NationalCancer Institute parsed healthinformation from more than 4,00,000volunteers, ages 50 to 71, who werefree of major diseases at the studysstart in 1995. By 2008, more than50,000 of the participants had died.But men who reported drinking twoor three cups of coffee a day were 10per cent less likely to have died thanthose who didnt drink coffee, whilewomen drinking the same amounthad 13 per cent less risk of dyingduring the study. Its not clear exactlywhat coffee had to do with theirlongevity, but the correlation isstriking.Other recent studies have linkedmoderate coffee drinking — theequivalent of three or four 150 mlcups of coffee a day or a single venti-size Starbucks — with more specificadvantages: a reduction in the risk ofdeveloping Type 2 diabetes, basal cellcarcinoma (the most common skincancer), prostate cancer, oral cancerand breast cancer recurrence.COFFEE
  2. 2. In a 2012 study of humans, researchersfrom the University of South Floridaand the University of Miami tested theblood levels of caffeine in older adultswith mild cognitive impairment, or thefirst glimmer of serious forgetfulness, acommon precursor of Alzheimersdisease, and then re-evaluated them twoto four years later. Participants withlittle or no caffeine circulating in theirbloodstreams were far more likely tohave progressed to full-blownAlzheimers than those whose bloodindicated theyd had about three cupsworth of caffeine.Perhaps most consequential, animal experiments showthat caffeine may reshape the biochemical environmentinside our brains in ways that could stave off dementia. Ina 2012 experiment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, mice were briefly starved of oxygen, causingthem to lose the ability to form memories. Half of themice received a dose of caffeine that was the equivalent ofseveral cups of coffee. After they were re-oxygenated, thecaffeinated mice regained their ability to form newmemories 33 per cent faster than the uncaffeinated. Closeexamination of the animals brain tissue showed that thecaffeine disrupted the action of adenosine, a substanceinside cells that usually provides energy, but can becomedestructive if it leaks out when the cells are injured orunder stress. The escaped adenosine can jump-start abiochemical cascade leading to inflammation, which candisrupt the function of neurons, and potentially contributeto neurodegeneration or, in other words, dementia.CAFFEINE