A new study, which appeared recently in PLOS Biology, shows that a physiologically-relevant dose of caffeine protects cardiovascular cells from damage. That dosage amount? Approximately four cups.
Caffeine has long been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. However, the link to these diseases was yet to be discovered. According to researchers Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied, a mitochondrial protein, p27, may be the culprit. The protein is known to protect heart muscles from cell death, helping to repair the muscles after a heart attack. This research overturns the assumption that the elderly should avoid caffeine. This and over 100 studies have shown the beneficial aspects of coffee consumption in decreasing the risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.
Another recent study, this time conducted by NIH, showed that coffee consumption is related to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. The sample group included over 400,000 Americans aged 50 to 71. Another multinational study of over 500,000 Europeans confirmed the finding.
Coffee, however, should not be seen as a cure-all. Drinking four cups of coffee every day—the magical number—is not enough to give an individual’s sedentary lifestyle a pass. Regular exercise and a good diet still matter and may indeed be intervening variables in some of these studies. However, the shown statistical significance proves coffee’s ability to improve overall health. If you find yourself needing that fourth cup of coffee to make it to the end of your work day, go ahead and reach for it.
Read the original article at BigThink.