Coffee for Healthy Ageing

Coffee, one of the world’s most consumed beverages, has many benefits and only a few shortcomings (sleep). Coffee has phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid that have strong antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory effects. A number of studies have now shown habitual coffee consumption is associated with lower prevalence of diabetes or pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that coffee consumption is associated with decreased risks for some types of cancer. Increasing studies are also showing coffee as a part of a healthy ageing regime.

In a recent study aged mice that consumed either caffeine-containing regular or decaffeinated coffee had decreased plasma-free fatty acids and increased adenosine triphosphate and total phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin, which is closely associated with aging, in the liver. It also increased the food and water intake, locomotor activity, volume of oxygen consumption, and respiration exchange ratio of aged mice indicators of increased energy levels.

In another study coffee has been shown to reduce muscle wastage in ageing men. Coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to be inversely related to the mechanism of sarcopenia (age-related loss of muscle mass and strength). In animal studies coffee attenuated the reduction of age-related muscle weight and muscle power, and stimulated regeneration of injured muscle compared to controls. Furthermore, pro-inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin 6 decreased after coffee treatment.

In this study with a sample consisted of 1,781 men who were at least 60 years of age, compared to the group of individuals who drank less than one cup of coffee a day, people who consumed at least 3 cups showed a 57% decreased sarcopenia. Good news for the coffee drinkers was that the decrease was not significant when the daily coffee consumption was 1 or 2 cups. The results of this study suggest that consuming at least 3 cups of coffee per day was associated with a lower prevalence of sarcopenia in elderly elderly men.