back to article Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

A cup of tea, coffee or even a mocha could extend your life, new research shows. The Stanford University research published in the journal Nature reveals how a cuppa can directly combat underlying chronic inflammatory processes, particularly in older people. Inflammation is a critical process which helps the body fight …

  1. joeW

    I AM IMMORTAL!!!

    1. ran93r

      THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

    2. Unep Eurobats

      Re: I AM IMMORTAL!!!

      But a little wired.

    3. m0rt Silver badge

      I think in my case it just means that I get to live a normal life! *gazes at the recycled glass bin*

    4. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
      Happy

      ...but Jesus wept, why won't my leg stop jiggling?!?

      1. MrT
        Angel

        COFFEEEEE!!!!!

        I'll sleep when I'm dead...

        Oh, right - well, that just means time for more COFFEEEE!!!!

        {GOTO line 1}

        1. Halloween Jack

          Re: COFFEEEEE!!!!!

          > I'll sleep when I'm dead...

          Or as the great David Bowie once said (as part of his revelation that in his later years, his only vice was a good cup of coffee or three) - "The benefit is that I'll still be awake when I'm dead".

          And I suspect he probably is.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I AM IMMORTAL!!!

      You must be (Dilbert's colleague) Wally.

      You can spend the £5 on another round of caffeinated drinks.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
    6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Only if you are a mouse

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Only if you are a mouse

        How dare you Sir! He is a rat, and proud of it.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Still something missing for my lifestyle..

    Any word about pizza ?

    :)

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: Still something missing for my lifestyle..

      Yes. Carry on - just have an espresso with every slice.

    2. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

      Re: Still something missing for my lifestyle..

      Does it have hot chili peppers on it?

      The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality: A Large Population-Based Cohort Study

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still something missing for my lifestyle..

        Does it have hot chili peppers on it?

        The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality: A Large Population-Based Cohort Study

        I must say, that's an unexpected place to circle back to the Xbox red ring of death..

        :)

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @ Fred F. Re: Still something missing for my lifestyle..

      "

      Any word about pizza ?

      "

      Pizza and coffee don't really go together.

      Diet coke is a different matter.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: @ Fred F. Still something missing for my lifestyle..

        Pizza and coffee don't really go together.

        Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought the doctors say that caffeine is bad for people with high blood pressure?

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Pfffffaw. Quacks, the lot of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the doctors say that caffeine is bad for people with high blood pressure?

      Only when that winds you up..

    3. Montreal Sean

      Caffeine and hugh blood pressure

      Bah, my coffee consumption has nothing to do with my BP being 148/109.

      OK, maybe a little to do with it...

    4. veti Silver badge

      What do you call the person who graduated bottom of their class from medical school? "Doctor".

      Doctors say all kinds of things, based on whatever evidence they happen to have been exposed to. In some areas, that evidence will be tantamount to "none at all".

      Now there's a new study, maybe some of those doctors will change their advice.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stamford?

    Twice? Maybe you need some coffee too.

    (Yes, I know about the "tips and corrections" link).

  6. Alister Silver badge
    Boffin

    The problem with all these "X is good for you", "X is bad for you" announcements is that they occur in isolation.

    I'm pretty sure there have been other studies which suggest that caffeine, tea and chocolate have deleterious effects on the human body. I'm also sure I have read other studies which suggest tea and chocolate in particular are beneficial (in sensible amounts).

    What is needed is a study which takes into account all the previous work done concerning a substance, and then measures any harmful effects against any perceived benefits, and makes a judgement as to whether, on balance, the substance is good for you, or bad for you, and at what level of intake.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      How many participants would be needed, and how long would the duration have to be, for such a study to have sufficient statistical power to isolate all the confounders? Black tea, green tea, tea with milk, tea with sugar, decaff tea, decaff coffee, coffee with muck, coffee without muck, etc, all the levels of consumption, all the possible health outcomes in age-related conditions, complicated by all the changes in consumption and preference that many people go through over time. And, most importantly, what is the likely effect size? How many people gain an extra year (or maybe a number of years) of life, or at least of healthy life, by drinking a certain amount of tea/coffee and by how much would habits have to change for the new knowledge to be worth it? Would the money spent on the study be better spent on encouraging people to do what is already known to make a big difference, like maintaining a healthy weight?

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        'How many participants would be needed, and how long would the duration have to be'

        I'm guessing around 7 billion+ and a century or so for the first run...

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          You're angling for the data gig, aren't you? Now that would be a job for life!

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Coat

          considering.....

          That we used mice to experiment on this already maybe the case (though on a longer time scale).

          Mines the one with towel hanging out of the pocket..

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'How many participants would be needed, and how long would the duration have to be'

          I'm guessing around 7 billion+ and a century or so for the first run...

          Yes but with so many permutations of what else might cause a long life, I pity the control group who spend a long life in Dilbert's coffee can.

    2. Def Silver badge

      I'm pretty sure there have been other studies which suggest that caffeine, tea and chocolate have deleterious effects on the human body.

      Rather ironically, theobromine is the compound that makes chocolate highly toxic for cats and dogs. While its toxicity in humans is far lower, it can still be lethal in sufficient quantities (about 70g for the average person).

      So it's not too different from everything else on the planet that can fit in our mouths. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How much chocolate does 70g of theobromine translate to?

        Sounds like it's probably a trace thing (?), so the quantity of chocolate needed to do harm would be in the kilo's range. By which point the sugar rush alone would probably kill... ;D

        1. Def Silver badge

          How much chocolate does 70g of theobromine translate to?

          It's just under five kilograms of dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), apparently. Or about six tins of Quality Street. :D

          I should point out the actual level of toxicity is approximately 1g of theobromine per kilogram of body weight, so your mileage may vary. ;)

          1. Oengus Silver badge

            It's just under five kilograms of dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), apparently. Or about six tins of Quality Street. :D

            What you missed is the time frame. You need to actually eat more than this amount because the human metabolism breaks down the theobromine.

            I think the calculations I did was that you needed to eat more than 100Grams of 70% Cacao chocolate/kilo of body weight in under 1 hour for it to be toxic.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I think the calculations I did was that you needed to eat more than 100Grams of 70% Cacao chocolate/kilo of body weight in under 1 hour for it to be toxic.

              I suspect you'd get hit by the side effects of all the other ingredients in chocolate well before you got anywhere near a lethal dose. I can't see anyone eat a single kg of 70% pure in an hour, let alone more.

              I'm no culinary expert, but I happened to have lived near a factory that is rather well regarded. A nice side effect of that was that I could buy top quality chocolate in their factory shop at a price that made supermarket bars look expensive, provided I bought it in 2kg bags at the time - not really the best decision to make if you want to watch your weight :).

  7. Len Goddard

    Danger, Will Robinson!

    The most dangerous thing about any food is the tension and fear induced by the conflicting reports of the medical fraternity.

  8. Anonymous Blowhard

    So it is OK to dip your chocolate digestive in your tea then?

    1. Triggerfish

      Required surely? But not to long nothing worse than when the end of a biscuit falls into a cuppa.

    2. Nolveys Silver badge
      Windows

      So it is OK to dip your chocolate digestive in your tea then?

      Pepeo bismol mixes right in and takes the edge off the vodka.

  9. ratfox Silver badge
    Happy

    a substance called theophylline found in tea and the compound theobromine found in chocolate also seem to help.

    I KNEW IT!!

  10. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    The research doesn't say drinking coffee alone is going to help you achieve a ripe old age

    No, you also need tea and chocolate! That is, anyway, the way I understood this research.

    Where's the cuppa icon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "chocolate"

      Having discovered 99% cocoa chocolate I can munch as much as I fancy. 1g of sugar in each 100g bar. Some people find it too bitter though - it's ok on my jaded palate.

  11. Steve Graham

    confused

    I'm only half-way through this morning's second cup, so that might be a factor, but I have a few problems with this article.

    - "substances found within caffeine" dosn't make any sense. Caffeine is a specific chemical compound.

    - "reduction in inflammation and caffeine is not causal" is a direct quote, yet the rest of the article seems to contradict it.

    - "gene clusters known to be associated with ageing and inflammation" - low activity correlated with coffee drinking. This could mean that naturally long-lived people tend to drink coffee.

    Anyway, I'm off to read the Stanford press release referenced here. It was also written by a mere journalist, but seems to have more information. The actual Nature Medicine article isn't freely available.

    1. Unep Eurobats
      Boffin

      Re: confused

      "the link between a reduction in inflammation and caffeine is not causal"

      Yes, I got a bit confused by that. I think it means the research doesn't prove that caffeine causes a reduction in inflammation, but it does show a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. Since inflammation impedes longevity it may be that caffeine is reducing the inflammation.

      Sounds like more research is required. In the meantime - put the kettle on, mine's a doppio.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: confused

      - "substances found within caffeine" doesn't make any sense. Caffeine is a specific chemical compound.

      The clue is in the name... "compound" i.e. made up of more than one thing.

      Caffeine is a complex hydrocarbon containing Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen and Nitrogen in various combinations, the posh name is trimethylxanthine.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: confused

        Since the article mentions metabolites which cause inflammation I assumed they were also suggesting that any anti-inflammatory action would come from one or more of the metabolic products of caffeine rather than its constituent elements.

      2. Tim99 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: confused

        @Alister

        ...trimethylxanthine may be what it's friends call it.

        Its posh name is 1,3,7-trimethylpurine-2,6-dione

        1. Harman Mogul

          Re: confused

          Haha, nothing post-factual here, even in jest!

        2. Swarthy Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: confused

          1,3,7,-trimethylxanthine

          Is a drug that turns man into machine

          But, it's not a steroid

          By sluggers employed

          But is legal, and known as caffiene

      3. Chemist

        Re: confused

        ""substances found within caffeine" doesn't make any sense"

        It does not ! However they may have meant coffee. Caffeine is not that complex BTW

        The phrase 'substances found within caffeine' has no chemical meaning. Caffeine is a pure chemical entity.

  12. Magani
    Happy

    Revised motto?

    'Keep Calm and Carry Coffee' seems a little contradictory, no?

  13. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    No time for a lengthy comment, I'm off to put the kettle on.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      With having to type in that handle at sign in, I'm surprised that you ever have enough time to bother with a comment.

  14. Your alien overlord - fear me

    An excellent study, sponsered by Costa. We all know (from othe studies, probably sponsered by Tetley's) that coffee gives you cancer.

  15. psychonaut

    can someone now...

    do the same research, except with alcohol please? if that one turns up trumps as well, i am never going to die. or maybe caffeinated alcohol? that would be say red bull and vodka right? or victory gin....double plus good

    my tea is the one in the pint glass

  16. simple soul

    So what I really need is.....

    A 32oz cup filled with a generous mix of Hot Lava Java,green machta tea, red wine, dark chocolate, naga chilli paste and manuka honey topped off with Jolt Cola.

    Caffine - check, check and check

    Fruit - check

    Chocolate - check

    Chilli - check

    Honey - check

    Did I forget anything? Oh yes a couple of spoonfuls of curcumin for max effect, and a direct path to the nearest loo.

    Having observed my father who was an avid builders tea drinker (he couldn't function without a cup or 20 a day) I can safely claim the findings are clearly flawed as he left the party early.

    1. missingegg

      Re: So what I really need is.....

      I think blueberries (possibly already covered by your "fruit" ingredient) and garlic need to be added if you really want to maximize the life extending possibilities.

  17. Alistair Silver badge
    Joke

    AWwwwwww to heck with all these damn studies.

    Tea, Coffee, chocolate. Good for you bad for you dammit --

    I'm just gonna go have a scotch.

  18. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The Daily Mirror has had evidence for years that smoking twenty Capstan Full Strength (untipped) a day while wearing a flat cap correlates with being a sprightly 90-year old mainstay of the local pub.

  19. Herby Silver badge

    Fuel...

    Is how I refer to the AM elixir of choice. Coffee in, code out (and some minor waste products we don't talk about). It has been that way for many a moon, and will continue as well.

    Live long and prosper? Sure, there is a correlation. But there is also a more than casual correlation between breathing air and living long as well.

    So, if a cup adds a week to one's life, I may even see the Unix epoch pass by at the age of 88. Highly likely since my mum is 98 and going string! She still drinks coffee as well!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And what about your heart?

    Caffeine is a heart stimulant and makes your heart beat faster and increases blood pressure.

    Therefore coffee may wear out your heart faster and then you have a heart attack.

    Really dont believe coffee (or any caffeine) is that good for you in large amounts.

    Maybe report was funded by Coffee Bean Growers Association.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: And what about your heart?

      What does in large amounts mean? And over what timeframe?

      Tbh, having large amounts of coffee, it's going to be the cholesterol (from milk) and the sugars that get you rather than the caffeine.

  21. DougS Silver badge

    What about soda?

    Hate coffee. Hate tea even more (sorry Brits) but I do drink soda, mostly Diet Dr Pepper. Not a ton - maybe 25-30 oz per day which equals the caffeine in one cup of coffee.

    It is funny how people on health kicks will proudly declare that they have quit drinking soda but keep pounding the coffee. This study will only encourage them since it talks about the benefit from caffeine, but only mentions coffee!

  22. Shane 4

    Study on 2 minute noodles next, Then I'm set for life!

    Yes I I know the results will probably be the opposite, But we can dream can't we?

  23. GrapeBunch

    Unscientific

    I am reminded of a couple of unscientific coffee promos from my (relative) youth.

    Edgar Cayce, AFAIR a studio photographer during the day, used to fall into trances and say things that he could have no knowledge of while awake. Speculation: he plugged into Jung's super-conscious. Anyway, at one session he was asked about coffee. He said that coffee, taken on its own, was a food, it was good for you. But if taken with milk or cream, it formed an indigestible mass in your stomach and was bad for you. Of course, even if you accept the scenario, the "entities" who gave the advice through Cayce, now over 70 years ago, could hardly have had access to science (such as it is) on coffee.

    About 20 years ago, I also read about coffee enemas (yes, you read that correctly) touted as a cure for certain cancers. Unlike some other alternative treatments (such as tiny amounts of the pits of fruits in the peach family, which is larger amounts would kill you dead), this one would be a nightmare if they ever wanted to do a double-blind test. You'd have to come up with a liquid that looked like, smelled like, tasted like coffee even to a connoisseur, but wasn't coffee, for the control group. The enema treatment does weirdly go with the results of the caffeine study. IANAD.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Unscientific

      If it's as an enema, one would not need to make the placebo taste, or possibly even smell like coffee. I know I'm not going to take a big whiff of something intended to go up a jacksie, much less sip on it.

      One might be able to use roasted black beans, or perhaps lentils, to make the placebo, as green coffee beans smell a lot like lentils, or other dried legumes.

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