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Monday, July 4, 2016

Coffee for Longer Life

Telomere length and cell death

Ok, let’s first understand the biology behind why cells age and die. A lot of evidence now backs up the theory that telomere length strongly affects the pace of aging of our cells. So what are telomeres? These are the end strands of our chromosomes. They are basically the lengthy ‘caps’ that protect our DNA from stress and deterioration.

Every time our cells multiply (for cell repair and growth), our telomeres shorten and this shortening is a sign of cell aging. When these telomeres become too short, the cell dies. And it was found that shorter telomeres are often associated with poor health and increased risk of premature death.

Coffee, good health and long life

A study found that coffee helps boost longevity. Along with other potential health benefits: (1) reduced risk of stroke and (2) decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

To support this, another recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition found a link between coffee consumption and telomere length; the subjects that consumed a higher amount of coffee had longer telomeres in their leukocytes (white blood cells).
Is this a good sign? Most likely, since we know that shorter telomeres and poor health are somehow linked.

But before you overdo your caffeine for a longer life, here’s an important fact to know: a Harvard study in 2015 found that only MODERATE coffee consumption lowers the risk of an early death. Yes, it is recommended to drink coffee, same with alcohol, in moderate amounts. "There is not enough evidence that you should drink more coffee for the sake of longer life expectancy," says Dr. Ding, first author of the Harvard study.

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