Greek coffee could be the key to long life
Residents of the Greek Island of Ikaria are recognized for having the longest life spans in the world--residents are 10 times more likely to live past 90 years old than in the rest of Europe. Not surprisingly, researchers have spent a good deal of time trying to figure out why. Was it simply genetics? Or was diet the key factor? Now scientists believe they may have found the answer: 87 percent of Ikarians drink Greek coffee every day.
A study from Athens Medical School found that Ikarians who drank coffee had superior endothelial function, without negative influences on blood pressure. The endothelium is a layer of cells that lines the blood vessels and is affected by lifestyle and aging. In the study, those who drank Greek coffee had better endothelial function than those who drank another type of coffee. That was true even for those study participants who had high blood pressure.
The researchers recruited 142 Ikarians (71 women and 71 men) who were over the age of 65 years and had lived on the island all their lives. They carried out their analysis using health data and questionaires to measure the participants' lifestyles, coffee drinking, medical health, and tested their endothelial function.
The researchers believe that Greek coffee, which is high in polyphenols and antioxidants, but contains only a moderate amount of caffeine, can result in greater health benefits than other coffees.