It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide. Coffee is served internationally and most countries have developed its own preferences about how to prepare and present it. The origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia. The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is from the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, South India, Persia, Turkey, and Northern Africa. Coffee then spread to the Balkans, Italy, and the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and then to America.
The health-promoting properties of coffee are often attributed to its rich phytochemistry, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, hydroxyhydroquinone (HHQ), etc. Many research investigations, epidemiological studies, and meta-analyses regarding coffee consumption revealed its inverse correlation with that of diabetes mellitus, various cancer lines, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it ameliorates oxidative stress because of its ability to induce mRNA and protein expression, and mediates Nrf2-ARE pathway stimulation. Furthermore, caffeine and its metabolites help in proper cognitive functionality. Coffee lipid fraction containing cafestol and kahweol act as a safeguard against some malignant cells by modulating the detoxifying enzymes.
Coffee Protects the Heart with the Help of Mitochondria
Several studies have shown that consumption of caffeinated coffee is associated with lower risk for coronary heart disease mortality, specifically in older subjects. The beneficial effect of caffeine appeared to be dose-dependent, as coffee consumption of 4 cups or more per day resulted in a further reduced risk for adverse events when compared to lower coffee consumption.
Endothelial cells line the interior of blood vessels and they play a wide variety of critical roles in the control of vascular function. The important effect is also linked to the mitochondria, these are the parts of cells that turn sugars, fats and proteins that we eat, into forms of chemical energy that the body can use to carry on living. Mitochondria are necessary for endothelial cell migration and protein translocation to cell organelles is a major determinant of their functional capacity. Mitochondria are needed for differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts in response to factors like transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1).
Additionally, p27 is required for migration of endothelial cells by enhancing mitochondrial functions.
Recent study shows that a caffeine concentration equivalent to four cups of coffee promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage.
The suggestion that caffeine at this level could be of physiological relevance comes from A science collaboration between Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf, Germany.
The protein p27, known mainly as an inhibitor of the cell cycle, was present in mitochondria in the major cell types of the heart. In these cells, mitochondrial p27 promoted migration of endothelial cells, protected heart muscle cells from cell death, and triggered the conversion of fibroblasts into cells containing contractile fibers — all crucial for repair of heart muscle after myocardial infarction. They found that caffeine induced the movement of p27 into mitochondria, setting off this beneficial chain of events, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee. Caffeine was protective against heart damage in pre-diabetic, obese mice, and in aged mice.
Conclusive remarks: These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population. Furthermore, enhancing mitochondrial p27 could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy not only in cardiovascular diseases but also in improving health span.
©BforBiotech by Bedadyuti Mohanty, Assistant Managing Editor by Profession and Bio-technologist by heart.