Life Extension Magazine®

Couple drinking coffee for the longevity benefits

In The News: December 2017

Coffee drinkers may live longer; curcumin shows promise against zika; brain benefit of blueberries; green tea associated with lower mortality risk; high cholesterol triggers osteoarthritis; latest protocols in Disease Prevention and Treatment book.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer

The largest study of its kind to date has revealed an association between drinking approximately three cups of coffee per day and a lower risk of mortality from any cause during an average follow-up period of 16.4 years.*

The study included 521,330 men and women who were enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Over an average 16.4-year follow-up, there were 41,693 deaths. Among men whose intake of coffee was among the top 25%, the risk of all-cause mortality over follow-up was 12% lower than those who did not drink coffee, and for women, the risk was 9% lower.

Mortality from digestive diseases was 59% lower for men in the top 25% and 40% lower for women.

Women who consumed the highest amount of coffee also benefitted from a 22% lower risk of circulatory disease mortality and a 30% lower risk of cerebrovascular disease mortality compared to nondrinkers.

Editor’s Note: In a subset of subjects, an association was observed between higher coffee intake and lower liver enzyme levels, and for women, an association was also observed with lower C-reactive protein, lipoprotein(a) and glycated hemoglobin levels. “We found that drinking more coffee was associated with a more favorable liver function profile and immune response,” observed lead author Dr. Marc Gunter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. “This, along with the consistency of the results with other studies in the U.S. and Japan gives us greater confidence that coffee may have beneficial health effects.”


* Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15;167(4):236-247.

Curcumin Shows Promise Against Zika

Curcumin Shows Promise Against Zika

An article in Antiviral Research reports that curcumin, a compound occurring in the spice turmeric, acts against Zika and chikungunya, two mosquito-borne viruses.*

Cells were pretreated with curcumin or its analogs prior to infection with chikungunya or Zika. Researchers Bryan C. Mounce and colleagues observed a decrease in the viruses in association with pretreatment with curcumin in comparison with untreated controls. Curcumin was more effective when administered prior to or at the time of infection than after infection.

The compound, when directly administered to the viruses, reduced their infectiousness.

The team determined that curcumin interfered with the binding of enveloped viruses to cell surfaces. The data suggest that curcumin does not destroy viral particles, but alters their membranes, and that curcumin could affect host lipid membranes involved in viral infection.

Editor’s Note: “Altogether curcumin holds significant promise in the treatment of enveloped virus infection, including outbreak viruses such as Zika virus and chikungunya virus,” the authors conclude.


* Antiviral Res. 2017 Mar 24;142:148-157.

Blueberry Brain Benefit

Blueberry Brain Benefit

A randomized, double-blind trial has revealed increased neural response in men and women who supplemented with freeze-dried blueberry powder for 16 weeks.*

Participants between the ages of 68 and 92 with mild cognitive impairment who did not have dementia or other neurologic conditions received either a placebo powder or a powder that provided the equivalent of a half cup of whole blueberries, taken twice daily for 16 weeks. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) administered during a task involving working memory was conducted before and after the treatment period to evaluate changes in the brain.

Compared to functional magnetic resonance imaging results at the beginning of the study, participants whose diets were supplemented with blueberry powder had significant increases in activity in three regions of the brain after treatment, while the placebo group experienced a small region of decreased activation.

Editor’s Note: Those who received blueberry also experienced improvement in one aspect of memory accuracy. The authors remark that the findings support the hypothesis that flavonoid compounds such as those found in blueberries contribute to improved vascular function.


* Nutr Neurosci. 2017 Feb 21:1-9

Green Tea Associated With Lower Mortality Risk

Green Tea Associated With Lower Mortality Risk

An analysis of two ongoing prospective studies conducted in China found an association between regular consumption of green tea and a lower risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality during a median follow-up period of 8.3 years for men and 14.2 years for women.*

The analysis included 51,920 men enrolled in the Shanghai Men’s Health Study, established in 2002 to 2006, and 64,034 participants in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, established from 1997 to 2000.

During the follow-up periods, 2,741 deaths were documented among the men and 3,776 fatalities occurred among the women. Compared to non-green tea drinkers, there was a 5% lower adjusted risk of mortality from any cause in association with drinking green tea regularly, and an 11% lower risk among green tea drinkers who never smoked.

Editor’s Note: When deaths from cardiovascular disease were examined, the reduction in risk over follow-up was 14% lower for regular consumers of green tea.


*J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan;27(1):36-41.

High Cholesterol Triggers Osteoarthritis

High Cholesterol Triggers Osteoarthritis

Besides its harmful cardiovascular effects, high cholesterol may also prompt mitochondrial oxidative stress, according to recent research.* This can kill cartilage cells, leading to osteoarthritis.

The study provided innovative proof-of-concept of the possible use of oxidant reducers to target mitochondria as a means of treating osteoarthritis.

“Our team has already begun working alongside dietitians to try to educate the public about healthy eating and how to keep cholesterol levels at a manageable level that won’t damage joints,” said researcher Indira Prasadam, PhD.

For the study, researchers used two animal models: one consisted of mice with altered genes that led to them having hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), the other was made up of unaltered rats. Both animal models were fed either a control normal diet or a high cholesterol diet. Surgery was then performed on the rodents to create a condition analogous to human knee injuries that lead to osteoarthritis.

Both animal models on the high cholesterol diet had worse osteoarthritis than the animals fed a normal diet. But the ones given mitochondrion-targeted antioxidants and the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin had the least severe osteoarthritis of all.

Editor’s Note: “Just when we thought all the angles on osteoarthritis had been uncovered, a new lead like this comes along,” remarked Thoru Pederson, PhD, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal. “The focus of hypercholesterolemia, whether familial or sporadic, has, of course, always been on arterial disease. But here we have a fascinating new discovery.”


*FASEB J. 2017 Jan;31(1):356-367.

Just-Published Protocol in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

The scientists and writers at Life Extension® continuously update the online Disease Prevention and Treatment protocol chapters based on the latest research. Recent updates are briefly summarized here with complete versions of these chapters and references available online at:

Peptic Ulcers

Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium) and excessive use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common causes of peptic ulcers. Fortunately, medical ulcer treatments are much more effective than they used to be thanks to new discoveries. Also, integrative interventions including deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), zinc-carnosine, and vitamin C have powerful anti-H. pylori and ulcer-healing effects. Probiotics, particularly a strain called Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17648, appear to help control H. pylori and reduce inflammation. Treatment with probiotics can also enhance the ability of antibiotics to eliminate H. pylori infection and reduce drug side effects. Finally, lifestyle measures including smoking cessation, stress reduction, and avoidance of NSAIDs and excess alcohol help promote ulcer healing and prevent recurrence.