A new study out of Stanford University published in the journal Nature Medicine has found that caffeine may help prevent heart disease, heart attacks and strokes by decreasing inflammation. The long-term study tracked more than 100 adults who fell into two groups. The first group had a genetic predisposition to having high levels of age-related inflammation and excess production of an inflammatory protein called IL-1-beta. The second group had far lower levels of this protein and subsequently much less generalized inflammation in their bodies.
What the researchers discovered was that the "high inflammation" group had much more incidence of elevated blood pressure and stiff heart arteries--both high risk factors of subsequent heart attacks and strokes. And interestingly enough, this group was much less likely to have a close relative who lived past age 90.
During their research, there was one lifestyle factor that stood out from all others: The "high inflammation" group drank almost no caffeinated beverages while the "low inflammation" group drank as much as seven cups of coffee per day. This was no coincidence. They found that caffeine reduced inflammation levels, which has been suspected for years of having a strong link to cardiovascular disease and many other diseases as well.
With this new research, we now know there is indeed a pathway associated with cardiovascular issues. And the lesson we can all take away from it is that a little caffeine is very likely a good thing for many of us, especially as we all age into our later years of life. So when seniors state they can't make it through the day without their morning cup of java, it's very likely to be true!