Here's How Coffee Might Actually Be Good For You

Photography by: Alice Gao
If you are a self-proclaimed coffee addict, you've likely stuck your fingers in your ears and tuned out any news about any possible negative effects of caffeine. While the age-old question of whether or not caffeine is bad for you can still be pretty complicated, new research has found that it may help fight inflammation and heart disease.

A new study from scientists at Stanford University School Of Medicine suggests that caffeine may be effective in working against inflammation and cardiovascular disease as we age. For the study, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers looked at blood samples of about 100 people, both younger and older. The researchers found that older people who had lower levels of inflammation had something in common: They all drank caffeine regularly.

If you'll recall, inflammation is a natural response in your body, but can be dangerous if it becomes persistent enough to contribute to a disease. The researchers found that since caffeine can block the effects of a molecule called adenosine, its ability to do so in the body could also block pathways for inflammatory molecules. In other words, caffeine can give you lower levels of inflammation, which could reduce the risk for heart disease.

“More than 90% of all noncommunicable diseases of ageing are associated with chronic inflammation,” David Furman, PhD, author of the study, said in a press release. “It’s also well-known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.”

The researchers pointed out that it's not quite as simple as using caffeine as a treatment for inflammation, but the findings do give scientists to perhaps narrow down their focus while searching for actual treatments. Until then, you probably don't have to feel too bad about that third cup of coffee today.
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