Chinese scientists have found one more reason to keep drinking tea and coffee – both drinks could help people live much longer.
According to a recent study by Chinese researchers, a natural compound found in both drinks was able to prolong the age of worms for up to the human equivalent of 175 years, South China Morning Post reported.
The compound, called chlorogenic acid (CGA) is a known antioxidant also found in potatoes and aubergines. It has been found to provide many health benefits according to previous studies. It reportedly improves brain functions, heals wounds faster, and reduces the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
In the experiment, Professor Luo Huai-Rong and fellow scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Kunming Institute of Botany investigated on further effects of the compound by feeding CGA to C aenorhabditis elegans, a type of roundworm with a similar ageing process to mammals and humans.
The study, published in the latest issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, revealed that the worms fed with CGA lived up to 25% longer than those that were not given the compound. While the worms normally live only two to three weeks, the oldest CGA-fed worm lasted for 35 days. Converted to human years, it would mean living up to the age of 175.
The research team is looking into the possibility of using the results as basis for developing drugs that could help slow down the ageing process in humans.
In the paper, the researchers wrote:
“The research on these two drinks has been revealing more and more in common from chemical components to their impacts on human health. The findings might serve as a starting point for developing foods with health-giving additives or pharmaceutical interventions in the ageing process.”
The CGA worms were not only healthier, but their immune systems were reportedly more responsive in fighting infection. This is because, according to the study, the antioxidant is able to manipulate the functions of certain genes to stimulate insulin secretion and prevent the build-up of fat. To achieve optimal results, the research team suggests a dosage of 50 micromoles of CGA.
While CGA may be a helping factor in prolonging life in humans, drinking tea or coffee alone will not guarantee a healthy life of 175 years. It is important to note that the ageing process is also influenced by a person’s genes, environment, lifestyles and personal habits.