New study reveals that the key to long life could be alcohol, coffee and being overweight
It's often hard to keep up with the research taking place about what keeps us fit and healthy. The fact is that there are plenty of positives and negatives to various foods, so it can be hard to pin down what exactly we should be having.
However, it's rare that one of these studies reveals that there are benefits to being overweight...
Researchers at the University of California's Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) recently released their findings on what people can do in order to live a long life, with the surprising revelation that moderate amounts of alcohol and coffee, as well as being overweight during your 70s, makes it more likely for you to make it past your 90th birthday.
“People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained,” they explained, adding that “people who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.”
This research comes from a project called The 90+ Study. The study began in 2003, and since then they have spoken with 14,000 people to find out exactly what made them live so long.
"Because little is known about people who achieve this milestone, the remarkable increase in the number of oldest-old presents a public health priority to promote the quality as well as the quantity of life," the researchers stated.
In an attempt to find out exactly where the recent increase in lifespan is coming from, participants were asked to perform cognitive and physical tests every six months, with information gathered on their diet, daily routine, medical history, and medications as well.
It was recent analysis of this data that found the link between alcohol, coffee, and weight. This calls to mind Richard Overton, who passed away this month at the age of 112. Overton was the United States' oldest World War II veteran, and claimed he had a cup of coffee with cream, sugar, and whiskey each morning.
This isn't the only research that has discovered a connection between healthy living and coffee consumption. In a study published in the Nature Medicine journal, a team at Stanford University found that caffeine consumption was linked to elevated inflammation levels, which can trigger some major diseases associated with old age.
Their team analysed blood samples from 100 participants from various age groups, and found that most of the older participants who regularly drank caffeine products had very low levels of activity in their inflammatory gene pathways, putting them closer to the younger entrants to the study.
"The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation," study author David Furman told Time. Inflammation is vital to how the immune system functions, but increased levels can lead to chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, hypertension, and joint disorders.
So, it seems a little alcohol and coffee won't hurt - as long as you don't go overboard with it...