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

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

    4. FuzzyWuzzys
      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

      Re: Still something missing for my lifestyle..

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

    2. Alan J. Wylie

      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

      @ 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

      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
    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

        '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

            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
      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
    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

    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

      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

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

    1. Adam 1

      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
    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

    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

    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

      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. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

  • NASA circles August in its diary to put Artemis I capsule in Moon orbit
    First steps by humans to recapture planet's natural satellite

    NASA is finally ready to launch its unmanned Orion spacecraft and put it in the orbit of the Moon. Lift-off from Earth is now expected in late August using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

    This launch, a mission dubbed Artemis I, will be a vital stage in the Artemis series, which has the long-term goal of ferrying humans to the lunar surface using Orion capsules and SLS technology.

    Earlier this week NASA held a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) for the SLS vehicle – fueling it and getting within 10 seconds of launch. The test uncovered 13 problems, including a hydrogen fuel leak in the main booster, though NASA has declared that everything's fine for a launch next month.

    Continue reading
  • Photonic processor can classify millions of images faster than you can blink
    We ask again: Has science gone too far?

    Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania say they've developed a photonic deep neural network processor capable of analyzing billions of images every second with high accuracy using the power of light.

    It might sound like science fiction or some optical engineer's fever dream, but that's exactly what researchers at the American university's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences claim to have done in an article published in the journal Nature earlier this month.

    The standalone light-driven chip – this isn't another PCIe accelerator or coprocessor – handles data by simulating brain neurons that have been trained to recognize specific patterns. This is useful for a variety of applications including object detection, facial recognition, and audio transcription to name just a few.

    Continue reading
  • World’s smallest remote-controlled robots are smaller than a flea
    So small, you can't feel it crawl

    Video Robot boffins have revealed they've created a half-millimeter wide remote-controlled walking robot that resembles a crab, and hope it will one day perform tasks in tiny crevices.

    In a paper published in the journal Science Robotics , the boffins said they had in mind applications like minimally invasive surgery or manipulation of cells or tissue in biological research.

    With a round tick-like body and 10 protruding legs, the smaller-than-a-flea robot crab can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. The machines can move at an average speed of half their body length per second - a huge challenge at such a small scale, said the boffins.

    Continue reading
  • Half of developers still at screens even during breaks
    Going for a walk: Good. Doomscrolling: Bad

    What are your peers doing to stave off burnout? Research from Stack Overflow suggests about half of developers are still spending their breaks in front of a screen.

    The Q&A programming resource surveyed 800 devs, and found most of the top five things they do when they need a break involve screens: listening to music (46 percent), visiting Stack Overflow (41 percent), browsing social media (37 percent), and watching videos (36 percent).

    Actually talking with fellow humans did not make the top five, and 4 percent of respondents had some other outlet for stress (possibly angrily banging some really terse comments into the source).

    Continue reading
  • Can AI transformer models help design drugs and treat incurable diseases?
    From protein prediction to drug generation, neural networks are revolutionizing medication

    Special report AI can study chemical molecules in ways scientists can't comprehend, automatically predicting complex protein structures and designing new drugs, despite having no real understanding of science.

    The power to design new drugs at scale is no longer limited to Big Pharma. Startups armed with the right algorithms, data, and compute can invent tens of thousands of molecules in just a few hours. New machine learning architectures, including transformers, are automating parts of the design process, helping scientists develop new drugs for difficult diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer, or rare genetic conditions.

    In 2017, researchers at Google came up with a method to build increasingly bigger and more powerful neural networks. Today, transformer-based models are behind some of the largest AI systems and typically learn patterns from vast amounts of text. They're versatile and can process different forms of language from code to ancient scripts scribbled thousands of years ago.

    Continue reading
  • Algorithm can predict pancreatic cancer from CT scans well before diagnosis
    Software picks up subtle clues human doctors miss

    AI algorithms can predict whether a patient will develop pancreatic cancer years before an official diagnosis, or so this research suggests.

    Tens of thousands of people in the US are diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma – the most common type of pancreatic cancer – every year. Less than 10 percent of patients live more than five years after diagnosis.

    Detecting the disease earlier could boost survival rates by up to 50 percent, it is believed. But doctors don't right now have any methods that screen patients for early signs of pancreatic cancer. Now, a team of researchers led by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a top non-profit hospital based in Los Angeles, California, believe AI could be up to the task.

    Continue reading
  • Intel: Our fabs can mass produce silicon qubit devices
    If conventional silicon manufacturing processes can be repurposed, it could help create practical quantum systems

    Updated Intel and QuTech claim to have created the first silicon qubits for quantum logic gates to be made using the same manufacturing facilities that Intel employs to mass produce its processor chips.

    The demonstration is described by the pair as a crucial step towards scaling to the thousands of qubits that are required for practical quantum computation.

    According to Intel, its engineers working with scientists from QuTech have successfully created the first silicon qubits at scale at Intel's D1 manufacturing factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, using a 300mm wafer similar to those the company uses to mass produce processor chips.

    Continue reading
  • 'Virtually no difference' between AI and humans in diagnosing prediabetes
    Is that... a good or bad thing?

    Deep-learning algorithms have shown themselves equal to humans in detecting patients at high-risk of developing Type-2 diabetes by analyzing CT scans of their pancreases, according to a research paper published on Tuesday.

    Type-2 diabetes is estimated to affect 11.3 percent of the US population, or at least 37 million people. Type-2 diabetes can lead to issues with circulatory, nervous, and immune systems, increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes.

    Those with the initial form, prediabetes, can repair their body's insulin resistance, so they don't develop the full-blown condition, if they change their diets and exercise habits. American health officials reckon 38 percent of the US adult population, some 96 million people, have prediabetes.

    Continue reading
  • TACC Frontera's 2022: Academic supercomputer to run intriguing experiments
    Plus: Director reveals 10 million node hours, 50-70 million core hours went into COVID-19 research

    The largest academic supercomputer in the world has a busy year ahead of it, with researchers from 45 institutions across 22 states being awarded time for its coming operational run.

    Frontera, which resides at the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), said it has allocated time for 58 experiments through its Large Resource Allocation Committee (LRAC), which handles the largest proposals. To qualify for an LRAC grant, proposals must be able to justify effective use of a minimum of 250,000 node hours and show that they wouldn't be able to do the research otherwise. 

    Two additional grant types are available for smaller projects as well, but LRAC projects utilize the majority of Frontera's nodes: An estimated 83% of Frontera's 2022-23 workload will be LRAC projects. 

    Continue reading
  • Scientists make spin ice breakthrough
    Artificial spin ice with smallest features ever created could be part of novel low-power HPC

    Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute and ETH Zurich in Switzerland have managed to accomplish a technological breakthrough that could lead to new forms of low-energy supercomputing.

    It's based around something called artificial spin ice: think of water molecules freezing into a crystalline lattice of ice, and then replace the water with nanoscale magnets. The key to building a good spin ice is getting the magnetic particles so small that they can only be polarized, or "spun," by dropping them below a certain temperature. 

    When those magnets are frozen, they align into a lattice shape, just like water ice, but with the added potential of being rearranged into a near infinity of magnetic combinations. Here the use cases begin to emerge, and a couple breakthroughs from this experiment could move us in the right direction.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022