Want the Secret to Long Life? Think Greek – Coffee, That Is

GR Ikaria.PNG (Greek island)

GR Ikaria.PNG (Greek island) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just 0.1 percent of Europeans live to be older than 90 years old;  however, on the Greek island of Ikaria, one percent of the population lives to past 90 and is healthy. What is the difference between the Greeks and their European counterparts? The boiled coffee they drink.

A group of Greek researchers studied 142 residents of island of Ikaria between the ages of 66-91 years old. They wanted to look at the association between the islanders continued coffee consumption and endothelium function. The endothelium is the layer of cells that line blood vessels. When these cells are working properly, they regulate blood clotting, help with immune system response, control the amount of fluid that passes into the tissues, and regulate dilation or constriction of blood vessels. When the endothelium cells stop working, the individual is at risk for cardiovascular disease.

The researchers measured endothelium function using an ultrasound and they measured coffee consumption with a food frequency questionnaire. Low consumption was:

  • Low if less than 200 milliliters daily
  • Moderate if between 200-450 milliliters daily
  • High if greater than 450 milliliters daily

Here’s what they found:

  • Eighty-seven percent drank boiled Greek coffee
  • Forty percent had low consumption,  48 percent had moderate consumption, and 13 percent had high consumption
  • There was an increase in endothelium function in proportion to the increase in boiled Greek coffee consumption
  • Those who primarily drank boiled Greek coffee had better endothelium function than those who drank other beverages

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by chasm63 on March 19, 2013.

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