It has been just revealed the fact that caffeine affects aging, and we’re going to address natural and synthetic ones. Check out the latest reports about the matter below.
Synthetic vs. natural caffeine
Caffeine has become a daily necessity for 75 percent of Americans, with popular brands like Starbucks, Red Bull, and Coke being the go-to energy boosters.
However, not all caffeine is created equal. Emerging research indicates that synthetic caffeine may accelerate aging, while naturally occurring caffeine could slow age-related decline.
The type of caffeine present in your coffee may play a significant role in its protective effect against aging.
Of the total caffeine consumed by Americans, approximately 60 percent is synthesized in a lab, which means that it does not come from natural sources like coffee beans or tea plants. Synthetic caffeine is the kind that is usually added by companies like Pepsi, Coke, and Red Bull to give their drinks an extra energy boost.
The 2017 study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found a strong association between higher caffeine intake and shorter telomeres, a clear marker of cellular aging among adults.
However, the study also found that increased coffee consumption had the opposite effect, leading to longer telomeres. This suggests that other compounds present in coffee may have anti-aging effects beyond caffeine.
The researchers emphasized that caffeine intake and coffee consumption are not interchangeable variables, despite appearing similar.
Previous studies have also found a positive correlation between greater coffee consumption and longer telomeres in 4,780 female nurses in the United Kingdom.
However, a 2023 Nutrients study discovered that instant coffee was negatively associated with telomere length, potentially due to the higher DNA-damaging mineral lead content. In contrast, standard filtered coffee did not show any adverse effects.
Research also indicates that green tea could protect against telomere shortening, while synthetic caffeine indicated DNA damage.
“Therefore, based on our findings,” the authors of a study investigating green tea, coffee, and caffeine from soft drinks articulated, “We suggest beneficial effects of green tea consumption and potentially disadvantageous effects of soft drink consumption on LTL shortening, which may reflect accelerated biological aging.”
Coffee and tea are known to have anti-aging effects which can be attributed to the presence of multiple antioxidant compounds.
Several studies have shown that these beverages can protect DNA integrity and prevent oxidative damage.
For instance, a randomized controlled study which included 50 men and 50 women found that dark roast coffee was able to reduce DNA damage by 23% in just four weeks. A separate eight-week interventional study involving 96 adults produced similar results.