Life Extension Magazine®

Coffee-drinking couple enjoys mountain biking

In the News: Coffee Drinking Associated with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Senolytics may reduce radiation therapy side effects; vitamins A, C, D, and E may inhibit respiratory illness and mortality; leucine-rich protein supplements improve sarcopenia; coffee may help reduce cardiovascular disease and mortality risk.

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

Coffee Drinking Associated with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Death

A large, prospective cohort study published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology showed that drinking coffee was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.*

Researchers followed 449,563 people averaging 58 years old for 12 years to determine the best kind of coffee for preventing heart disease and boosting longevity.

They evaluated ground, instant, and decaffeinated.

All types of coffee were associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, but ground coffee produced the greatest benefits.

As compared to non-coffee drinkers overall reduction in cardiovascular incidents was observed.

Drinking 2-3 cups of ground coffee per day led to a 27% reduced risk of death whereas consumption of 4-5 cups reduced the risk of arrhythmias by 17%.

Editor’s note: Research has shown that drinking coffee improves endothelial function and lowers the chance of heart failure.

* European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Volume 29, Issue 17, November 2022, Pages 2240–2249.

Senolytics May Protect Against Adverse Effects of Radiation Therapy

Senolytics may play a protective role against long-term side effects of radiation therapy used to treat cancer, according to a study published in elife.*

Senescence describes a condition in which aged, dysfunctional cells stop dividing yet survive to create a harmful, proinflammatory environment.

In this preclinical trial, mice that got radiation either received low dose Navitoclax or a combination of dasatinib with quercetin for 10 days. Another group received metformin for 10 weeks.

Animals that received senolytics within a month following irradiation showed a reduction in frailty progression, better muscle and liver function, and greater short-term memory compared to untreated mice.

Metformin was similarly as effective as senolytics. Rather than killing senescent cells, metformin prevents the proliferation of senescence in neighboring cells.

Editor’s Note: Senolytic therapies that kill senescent cells or metformin may improve quality of life in people receiving radiation therapy. There is also evidence that the AMPK-activating property of metformin may impede cancer cell proliferation.

* eLife 11:e75492.

Vitamins A, C, D, E Linked to Lower Risk of Respiratory Illness and Mortality

A pooled analysis concluded that having lower serum levels of vitamins C and E were associated with greater risk of respiratory diseases, and that lower levels of vitamins A, C, and D were associated with an increased risk of dying from these diseases, the journal Respiratory Research reported.*

Lower serum vitamin C levels were associated with a greater risk of wheeze. Among smokers, lower levels of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E were associated with increased wheeze and chronic bronchitis/emphysema.

Among smokers a higher risk of death from chronic lower respiratory disease (asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema) and influenza/pneumonia was associated with lower levels of vitamin D. Greater influenza and pneumonia mortality was also associated with lower vitamin A levels. Vitamin C deficiency doubled the risk of dying from these conditions.

Editor’s Note: The data were compiled from 16,218 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III), conducted from 1988 to 1994, and 17,838 who participated from 1999 to 2006.

* Respir Res. 2022 Jun 9;23(1):150.

Older Adults with Sarcopenia Benefit from Leucine-Rich Protein Supplements

Results from a meta-analysis of randomized trials concluded that protein supplements rich in the essential branched-chain amino acid leucine could improve muscle strength in individuals with sarcopenia, characterized by muscle wasting that contributes to frailty in aging people, according to an article in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.*

A total of six studies, including 699 men and women with sarcopenia were included in the analysis. A daily protein supplement containing
3 grams to 6 grams of leucine was given to 346 participants for 8 to 13 weeks, while 353 received a placebo or no leucine. Muscle strength, muscle mass, and physical performance were evaluated before and after the treatment periods.

Muscle strength significantly improved in leucine-supplemented participants as a primary outcome in comparison with the control groups. There was also a trend toward improvement in muscle mass and physical performance.

Editor’s Note: Leucine-rich protein supplementation improves muscle strength in sarcopenic older adults and can be suggested as a nutritional treatment for sarcopenia.

* Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2022 Sep-Oct;102: 104758.