Makes mocha more durable?

Seniors who drink Greek coffee have particularly healthy vessels

Greek Mocha © Bertil Videt / CC-by-sa 3.0
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Why are people so long-lived in some areas? At least for one of these Centenarian Islands, the answer could be quite simple: it's the coffee. Researchers have found that the fittest elders on the Greek island of Ikaria drink a lot of the typical brewed coffee of the region. This coffee contains a lot of healthy ingredients and little caffeine. This in turn could explain why the vascular walls of the Vieltrinker were in particularly good shape, the researchers report in the journal "Vascular Medicine".

On the Greek island of Ikaria, there are so many healthy people over the age of 90 living like hardly anywhere else in the world. While only 0.1 percent reach such an age on the European average, Ikaria is one percent - ten times that. And they are also especially healthy - arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases are rarely found in them. But why? Gerasimos Siasos of the University of Athens and his colleagues wanted to clarify this and looked at a rather distant factor at first sight: the coffee consumption of the inhabitants. However, some studies have recently come up with initial indications that certain ingredients of coffee may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Coffee powder and water brewed together

As is common in many Mediterranean countries, many inhabitants of the island drink their coffee in the Greek way: they boil the coffee powder together with water several times until the typical mocha is created. This type of preparation causes a large number of secondary ingredients to pass from the beans to the brew: "Greek mocha is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, " explains Siasos. "That's why it contains less caffeine than other coffee preparations." Whether this coffee has an impact on the health of the islanders, Siasos and his colleagues have now examined more closely.

Greek mocha cooking pots © Matthiasberlin / CC-by-sa 3.0

For this purpose, they surveyed 142 Ikaria seniors aged between 66 and 91 years, first after their daily coffee consumption, and then examined the state of their blood vessels in addition to their general state of health by means of ultrasound They showed signs of inflammation or attachment and whether the veins expanded with increased blood flow. 87 percent of the participants drank Greek mocha daily, the others preferred other types of coffee.

The more mocha, the sweeter vessels

When the researchers compared the coffee consumption of the subjects with the condition of their blood vessels, a clear correlation emerged: the more Greek mocha the participants drank, the freer and more flexible their veins were - showing a linear relationship, they report Scientist. By contrast, the vessels of participants who favored other types of coffee were in worse shape. display

"This provides us with a new link between nutrition - in this case, a drink - and health, " explain Siasos and his colleagues. It still has to be examined in further studies on which mechanisms this connection is based, they emphasize. Nevertheless, this is an interesting starting point - especially given that coffee is a globally popular and widely used beverage. (Vascular Medicine, 2013; doi: 10.1177 / 1358863X13480258)

(SAGE Publications, 20.03.2013 - NPO)