There’s a particular kind of science journalism about which you, the savvy digital native media consumer, have doubtlessly learned to be sceptical: the “this superfood will save your life!” story.
They all follow the same model: some claim that kale or blueberries or walnuts or whatever are touted as having incredible health benefits according to such-and-such a paper, and then you drill down to the actual study and discover that what the study actually found was that a molecule contained in said food had an inhibiting effect on cancer cells in a petri dish or something.
So, with that in mind: you should now definitely drink four coffees a day for good heart health.
The study, which was published in PLOS Biology under the catchy title ‘CDKN1B/p27 is localized in mitochondria and improves respiration-dependent processes in the cardiovascular system – New mode of action for caffeine’, looked at lab mice that were dosed up on caffeine and also the way that caffeine affected human tissue, concluding that the caffeine changed the way that certain proteins in our bloodstream work.
More specifically, it made older cells behave more like younger ones – which, we assume, meant they made more reckless decisions and were on their phones the whole time dagnabbit.
Co-lead investigator Joachim Altschmied told Business Insider that “When you drink four to five cups of espresso that seems to improve the function of the powerhouses of our cells, and therefore seems to be protective.”
And while the media is notoriously regular about telling you that last week’s health benefits for coffee/red wine/eggs/etc have been debunked by this week’s health scare regarding coffee/red wine/eggs/etc, there’s a growing body of evidence that coffee’s genuinely helpful.
Large-scale generational studies in Europe have found that regular coffee drinkers tend to live longer, have fewer heart problems and strokes, as well as lower rates of diabetes.
And, as ever, there needs to be mention that correlation is not causation and it might be that healthier people drink coffee more for unrelated reasons, but let’s just assume that our reliance upon that sweet black goodness is actually us being admirably health conscious, eh?
I’m not shaking, you’re the one that’s shaking.