How Your Morning Coffee Might Slow Down Aging

2017.02.24 00:30


How Your Morning Coffee Might Slow Down Aging

Alice Park

Jan 17, 2017

To the age-old question “Is coffee bad for you?”, researchers are in more agreement than ever that the answer is a resounding "no." A new study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that older people with low levels of inflammation — which drives many, if not most, major diseases — had something surprising in common: they were all caffeine drinkers.

“The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation,” says study author David Furman, consulting associate professor at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University. “There was no boundary, apparently.”

In the study, Furman and his colleagues analyzed blood samples from 100 young and old people. The older people tended to have more activity in several inflammation-related genes compared with the younger group — no surprise, since as people get older, inflammation throughout the body tends to rise. Chronic diseases of aging, like diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, cancer, joint disorders and Alzheimer’s, are all believed to have inflammation in common. "Most of the diseases of aging are not really diseases of aging, per se, but rather diseases of inflammation," Furman says. The more active these genes were, the more likely the person was to have high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

What's more, even among older people, those with lower levels of these factors were more protected against inflammation — and they had something else in common too. They all drank caffeine regularly. People who drank more than five cups of coffee a day showed extremely low levels of activity in the inflammatory gene pathway. Caffeine inhibits this circuit and turns the inflammatory pathway off, the researchers say.

The goal isn't to make every trace of inflammation disappear, the scientists stress. In fact, inflammation is an important function of the immune system, which uses it to fight off infections and remove potentially toxic compounds. But with aging, the process isn’t regulated as well as it is in a younger body. “Clearly in aging something is breaking down, and we become less effective at managing this inflammation,” says Mark Davis, director of the Stanford institute. “But now in this paper, we identify a particular pathway that was not associated with inflammation before. We are able to point, with a much higher resolution picture, at aging and the things that should be markers for inflammation."

The key will be to figure out when the inflammatory response starts to spiral out of control. In an upcoming study, Furman and others will soon investigate the immune systems of 1,000 people; he hopes to use that information to develop a reference range of immune-system components to tell people whether their levels are normal, or if they're at higher risk for developing chronic conditions driven by inflammation.In the meantime, following the example of caffeine-drinking adults with lower levels of inflammation — by having a cup of joe or two — might be a good idea.



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I have Trouble Remembering Things Does that Mean I am Getting Dementia?

2017.02.13 00:30

FreeDem Films aim to address your fears about memory loss and dementia and provide practical advice about brain health. We understand that you worry about losing your memory and fear getting dementia. Each of our films answers a key question related to brain health and dementia that will increase your understanding of how memory works, allay your fears or inspire you to consider your brain health and take actions that will improve the quality of your life.

Brought to you by the NEIL Programme

The NEIL Program aims to develop, evaluate and deliver NeuroEnhancement to older people worldwide.

Failing cognitive function prevents millions of older adults from living independently.

Our Goal is to enable independent living and improve quality of life by:

conducting research aimed at dementia prevention and cognitive enhancement;

transforming this knowledge into empirically grounded interventions;

and using this information to educate and empower older adults to maintain their cognitive function for as long as possible.

See for further information.

Enhance / Enable / Educate / Empower

Korean subtitles courtesy of Misook Ahn.

Spanish subtitles courtesy of Licet Valois.

Dutch subtitles courtesy of Mirjam Schepens.

French subtitles courtesy of Jacques Gatard and Jennifer David.

Italian subtitles courtesy of Valentina Gigliucci and Simona Salamone.

German subtitles courtesy of Jean Maples.

I have trouble remembering things; does this mean I have Dementia?

As you grow older it is easy to jump to conclusions about your memory. Especially after you have lost your house keys, again. Or drawn a blank when you are faced with someone you know you have met before. These small lases of memory and attention can feel like the end of the world.

It is important to remember that your brain is a very complex organ. Forgetting the odd word or name doesn't mean you are getting Dementia and yet these lapses in memory could mean something.

Many different things can affect your memory; over the counter or prescription medications, excessive use of alcohol, an underlying medical condition that you may not be aware of and even psychological causes such as stress and anxiety or depression.

When you are stressed or feel depressed your brain releases a hormone called cortisol into your blood stream. High levels of cortisol can impair the cells in your hippocampus, a part of the brain vital for making memories. This can make it more difficult for you to create new memories or retrieve old ones.

So you may well have a memory problem but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have Dementia. You need to be aware of your brain health and most importantly see your family doctor about your memory concerns. A doctor can help identify any underlying conditions that might be affecting your memory. Or help you manage stress or anxiety in the healthy way if that is the issue. Or change medication that may be causing your memory problems.

Some causes of Dementia are treatable even reversible. Which is added incentive for you to book an appointment with your doctor for a memory check.

Your doctor might not bring the bad news you have been dreading.

Tengo Problemas Recordando las Cosas, Esto Quiere Decir que Tengo Demencia?

Gauzak gogoratzeko arazoak ditut - Horrek esan nahi du dementzia jasatzen ari naizela?

J’ai des problèmes à me souvenir de certaines choses. Cela signifie-t-il que je suis atteint de démence?

Ho problemi a ricordare le cose – significa che mi sta insorgendo la demenza?

Ik heb moeite om dingen te onthouden - betekent dit dat ik dementie krijg?

자꾸 뭔가를 깜빡 해요. 저도 혹시 치매일까요?

Ich habe Schwierigkeiten, mich an Dinge zu erinnern - werde ich dement?


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Neurology of Ageing

2017.02.07 11:11


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What will your life look like in 50 years?

2017.02.05 20:57

Brought to you by ASAPS, A Sharing Approach to Promoting Science.

Funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework project.

What will your life look like in 50 years?

In 1888, the old age pension was set in Germany at 70. Which wasn't very generous seen as though the life expectancy was only 48! These days there are over 100 million people aged 80+, a number that will quadruple to 400million by 2050! Which means we are entering the golden age of retirement.

But fast forward, you have quit that day job, friday lunch with the girls is a weekly highlight and beforehand you have a date with your hairdresser! You take the same bus as always but this time the streets aren't to familiar. Suddenly you feel frightened, someone asks if you are lost and to your alarm you realise, you are! Hopefully this won't be you, but it could be!

1 in 3 seniors will die with Dementia. Damage to the brain that can turn your golden years into a confusing and difficult experience. Your brain is not only a home to the potential problem but also the solution. In Vienna, scientists are dissecting 100's of brains to uncover why some people get Alzheimer's and some people don't. Meanwhile in London, Hector the robot is being developed as a help mate for the future. The knowledge that scientists are gathering to help keep your brain young as your body gets old, giving you a much better chance of a golden retirement.

To find out more, go to:


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Coffee: the latest antidote to aging?

2017.02.04 00:30



커피: 노화를 늦추는 최신 해독제?



By Alice Park 


You can stop quilting Yourself out of that second cup of coffee every morning. There’s growing evidence that a daily jolt of java may be a healthy habit, thanks to its ability to keep heart vessels clear and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, as well as its cancer-fighting antioxidants. Now there’s even better news: coffee appears to help combat aging.

A new study that focused on the cells of coffee drinkers and non?coffee drinkers found that older people who consumed more caffeine tended to have lower levels of inflammation?the culprit behind a number of chronic diseases associated with aging, including certain cancers, joint disorders and even Alzheimer’s. In the study, people who drank the equivalent of five or more cups of coffee a day showed very low levels of inflammatory factors in their blood. When the scientists studied their gene activity, they also found that genes linked to inflammation were less active than the same genes in people who didn’t drink as much.

Caffeine, the scientists suspect, turns off the pathway to inflammation almost altogether. That’s especially beneficial when it comes to combatting cellular aging, because inflammation isn’t regulated as well as it is in a younger body. “Clearly, in aging, something is breaking down, and we become less effective at managing this inflammation,” 


says Mark Davis, director of the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University and one of the study’s primary authors. Caffeine, then, seems to undo some of the disruption caused by aging.

The key, the researchers say, will be to figure out when the inflammatory response starts to spiral out of control?if they can figure that out, they may be able to get ahead of it sans coffee. The scientists are currently conducting another study that may help; they are hoping to analyze the immune systems of 1,000 people. That information will create a reference range of inflammation at various life stages that could tell people if their levels are normal?or if they are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions. If they are, they might consider adding (or keeping up with) their coffee habit.

And in the meantime, for most of us anyway, a second cup certainly can’t hurt. □ 


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