Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 14, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Science A latte for your heart?

A latte for your heart?

5 mins read
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Earlier this month, Nature Medicine published a study on inflammasome gene modules which found tenuous but suggestive evidence that coffee could be good for your health, and not just for propelling you through that brutal 8.30am seminar.

Sandford University scientists found that expression of a specific set of these modules is closely tied to the risk level of cardiovascular disease – and coffee, rich in caffeine, can help to offset the process.

The impact on our student population might be negligible for some time

Despite part of their test group being composed of 20-30 year old adults, the study at Sandford was principally organised to explore the decline in and possible causation of cardiovascular health experienced by their 60 years and older participants.

The study comes at an essential time as the world’s ageing population continues to challenge modern medicine. Very little is known about age-related cardiovascular disease – certainly not enough to create a feasible strategy to target and prevent such conditions from forming.

The Sandford study analysed data from 100 people over a 10 year period, looking closely at blood tests, surveys, medical and family histories in the attempt to determine the causation of age related cardiovascular disease.

A standard sight outside lecture theatres

What they found were two clusters of genes, notably more active in some individuals, which enabled heightened production of the circulating inflammatory protein Il-1-beta. When increased levels of this protein were tested on mice, the animals experienced a massive surge in systemic inflammation, high blood pressure and renal pressure.

The conductors of the study then progressed to researching how
these proteins might be counteracted through medical intervention. They found that, when incubated with caffeine, Il-1-beta’s actions were very effectively countered by the metabolites in the added substance. This indicates that the consumption of caffeine may well help to offset the deterioration in inflammation, as well as blood pressure and renal pressure which can contribute to the development of cardiovascular conditions.

This study is not the first to indicate coffee’s health benefits

A study conducted by researchers at the Canadian institute University of British Columbia published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry last year, found that test groups in the US and Sweden benefited from a considerably
lowered risk of multiple sclerosis when they consumed six or more cups of coffee per day – and this study worked with participants as young as 15, so that has to prove that our Costa-centred diet is healthy, right?

Well, actually, maybe. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death all over the globe. Surely anything proven to offset it must be good for you.

Just try to steer away from the creamy, sugary, syrupy products that endear the bitter brew to even those possessing a demanding sweet tooth.

This is where the goodness lies…

Overindulgence in these high fat and processed side products might well counteract any good work done by the beans themselves.

So, next time you’re pulling an all-nighter with an essay that just refuses to be completed any more than an hour before the deadline, don’t feel too guilty about reaching for the Nescafe.

It’s no real substitute for sleep, but it might just be doing untold amounts of good to your insides on the quiet.

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