Caffeine Extends Lifespan Through Key Cell Pathway


There is solid and ever growing evidence that regular coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of many age-associated diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s as some examples.

One line of thought for the putative benefits of coffee consumption is the action of antioxidant polyphenols found in coffee.  However, there is increasing proof that caffeine itself may have a direct effect on the biochemical pathways of lifespan regulation.

The latest research looks at the lowly yeast cell.  Though a single cell organism, yeast is the simplest of a eukaryotic cell, of which humans and other animals are composed.

In the study researchers exposed yeast cells to caffeine.

The study focused on an important cell protein called mTOR, a molecule known to be a key cellular switch regulating growth and lifespan.  It is known that inhibition of mTOR generally reduces cell metabolism and growth, and prolongs lifespan across several species.

It was demonstrated that yeast exposed to caffeine, had prolonged lifespan and that this effect was mediated by mTOR.

Thus this research demonstrates caffeine directly prolongs lifespan through a key metabolic pathway, and suggests the benefit of coffee in prevention of disease may occur through this mechanism.

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5 Responses to “Caffeine Extends Lifespan Through Key Cell Pathway”

  1. Audrey says:

    This makes me happy to hear. There were so many negatives about caffeine for so long and all of it’s negative effects. Of course, it’s always taken in the context of moderation as with anything you consume.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Great to know that something contained in everyday beverages has such health benefits. In what form (coffee?) and amounts should caffeine be consumed though?

  3. Edouard says:

    I see results about yeast and caffeine — I recall that caffeine and coffee where shown to bad very toxic for c elegans (growth arrest and death). Perhaps it is a matter of dosage.

    In humans, it indeed seems to be *great overall*. Small things to have in mind:
    - in case you have cardiac issues, please noted that there are concerns (I am not sure that the detrimental effect has been clearly demonstrated; a partial trick that people having a heart attack know when it happens and they should then cough (far, long coughs) to try to restablish oxygen and rythm);
    - demonstrated increased risk of bladder cancer (not a top risk; a trick I’ve read sometimes: go to the toilets whenever your body tell you too)
    - of course not to take in the evening if you have difficulties sleeping. Sleeping well (not necessarily long) is key for health.

  4. Edouard says:

    also, I’ve been wondering a few times if hot drinks where not increasing neurogenesis by heating/burning the olfactory bulb : the olfactory blub would regenerate and at the same time generate neurones for the brain. I recall that there was such experiments in mice (this is just a remark passing by, so I’m not taking the time to look for the articles)

    and concerning hot drinks: as indicated by the high rate of throat and oesophegal cancer in Japan: do not drink your tea/coffee (/japanese express pastas) too hot… smell it longer ;-)

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