Cof­fee is Good for the Heart?

Amazing Wellness - - AMAZING NEWS -

In an en­cour­ag­ing de­vel­op­ment in the cof­fee-may-be-good­for-us field, re­searchers have dis­cov­ered at least part of why cof­fee ap­pears to be ben­e­fi­cial for the heart. In re­cent years, cof­fee has moved off the “avoid” list and onto the “drink in mod­er­a­tion” list, as it seems to of­fer health ben­e­fits rang­ing from lower risks for mul­ti­ple dis­eases, in­clud­ing type 2 di­a­betes, heart dis­ease and stroke, to meta­bolic and an­ti­cancer. The new study, pub­lished in the jour­nal PLOS Bi­ol­ogy, finds that cof­fee may be ben­e­fi­cial in part be­cause caf­feine sets off a cas­cade of events in heart cells, start­ing with their en­ergy stores, mi­to­chon­dria, and end­ing with pro­tec­tion of both healthy and un­healthy hearts. The team fo­cused on a pro­tein called p27, which is known among other things to in­flu­ence the cell cy­cle. The team found that caf­feine trig­gered the move­ment of p27 into the mi­to­chon­dria of heart cells in mice, and in par­tic­u­lar, the mi­gra­tion of the heart’s en­dothe­lial cells, which line the blood ves­sels. How well the en­dothe­lial cells were able to mi­grate, they found, re­lied strongly on the pres­ence of p27, which again is bol­stered by caf­feine. The pro­tein also pro­tected heart mus­cle cells from dy­ing af­ter heart at­tack was in­duced in some of the mice. And it trig­gered one type of cells, fi­brob­lasts, to dif­fer­en­ti­ate into cells con­tain­ing con­trac­tile fiber, es­sen­tial for good heart func­tion. “Our re­sults in­di­cate a new mode of ac­tion for caf­feine,” said study au­thor Judith Haen­deler, “one that pro­motes pro­tec­tion and re­pair of heart mus­cle through the ac­tion of mi­to­chon­drial p27.” Re­searchers said the op­ti­mum dose for caf­feine was the equiv­a­lent of about four cups of cof­fee per day, which other stud­ies have sug­gested as well. When this amount was given to el­derly mice, their car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem func­tioned more like younger mice. Caf­feine ad­min­is­tra­tion also im­proved the heart health of pre-di­a­betic and obese mice.

MEET THE EX­PERT: Matthew J. Bud­off, M.D., FACC, FAHA, is Pro­fes­sor of Medicine, David Gef­fen School of Medicine, Har­bor-UCLA Med­i­cal Cen­ter. He is Pro­gram Di­rec­tor and Di­rec­tor of Car­diac CT, Di­vi­sion of Car­di­ol­ogy, Har­bor-UCLA Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Tor­rance, Calif. He is also En­dowed Chair of Pre­ven­tive Car­di­ol­ogy, Los An­ge­les Biomed­i­cal Re­search In­sti­tute.

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