The answer to a long life could be simpler than we imagine; it may in fact be right under our noses in the form of a morning cup of coffee… a cup of boiled Greek coffee to be exact.
The inhabitants of the Greek island Ikaria, boast the highest rates of longevity in the World, only 0.1 percent of Europeans live to be older than 90 years – but on the island of Ikaria that number is 1 percent, and many scientists turn to them when looking to discover the ‘secrets of a longer life’. In a new study in Vascular Medicine, published by SAGE, researchers investigating cardiovascular health believe that a cup of boiled Greek coffee holds the clue to the elderly islanders’ good health.
Gerasimos Siasos, a medical doctor and professor at the University of Athens Medical School, and his colleagues investigated links between coffee-drinking habits and the subjects’ endothelial function. The endothelium is a layer of cells that lines the blood vessels, which is impacted by lifestyle habits and aging.
The researchers focused on coffee because recent studies have proven that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, and that it may also have a positive impact on several aspects of endothelial health.
The investigators researched all kinds of coffee consumed by the participants. Surprisingly over 87 percent of those in the study drank boiled, Greek coffee every day. Participants who drank more Greek coffee had better endothelial function than those who drank other types of coffee.
“Boiled Greek type of coffee, which is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and contains only a moderate amount of caffeine, seems to gather benefits compared to other coffee beverages,” Siasos concludes.
Even those who had high blood pressure, coffee consumption was linked to better endothelial function, without negative influence on blood pressure.
The current study provides new evidence showing the connection between cardiovascular health and nutritional habits. Because coffee consumption is so widespread, even the small health effects of at least one kind of coffee could have a big influence on public health.
The authors suggest that further studies are needed to identify the exact advantageous effects of coffee on cardiovascular health.