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Good news for coffee drinkers!

Study: Caffeine may lead to a longer life

(via USA Today/Sean Rossman)

Perk up. That daily cup of coffee could guarantee many more mornings.

A Stanford University School of Medicine study found properties in caffeine may beat back an “inflammatory process” linked to cardiovascular disease and aging.

Now, pause to take another sip.

The school’s findings, published last month in the medical journal Nature Medicine, examined more than 100 people over a series of years. The university said the research found the inflammatory process was less prevalent in those who drank more caffeine. Lab experiments found caffeine “directly countered” the inflammatory process.

David Fuhrman, the study’s lead author, said 90% of noncommunicable diseases — which aren’t infectious or transmissible — are tied to chronic inflammation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 75% of the world’s deaths are caused by noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers studied gene clusters and found people with high levels of an “inflammatory protein” more often had high blood pressure and free radicals in their blood. Free radicals, the university said, can damage cells. Those with gene clusters containing low levels of the inflammatory protein more often had family members who lived age past 90 years old.

Here’s where caffeine came in. The blood of the people with low levels of inflammatory protein was found to be “enriched for caffeine” compared to the other group.

Stanford microbiology and immunology professor Mark Davis put it best.

“That something many people drink — and actually like to drink — might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us,” he said. “What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. And we’ve shown more rigorously, in laboratory tests, a very plausible mechanism for why this might be so.”