In the Bank coffee drinkers have yet another witness to the power of the invigorating beverage. German scientists have described a previously unknown mechanism of the effect of caffeine on recovery of heart muscle, reports the website Medical Xpress.
Doctors know that the consumption of coffee is associated with a lower risk of developing type II diabetes and some heart disease. However, the principle of the protective action is still not understood.
A team of researchers under the leadership of Judy Handler (Judith Haendeler) of the University Heinrich Heine in düsseldorf found the answer. Experiments on mice showed that caffeine contributes to the displacement of the regulatory protein in the mitochondria, thereby improving their work and contributing to the protection of cell damage the cardiovascular system.
The protein in question is called P27. In their first studies scientists have proven that the dose of caffeine contained in four cups of coffee improves the functioning of endothelial cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels.
Also, experts have found that the positive effect extends to the mitochondria, the “power stations” of cells.
The team continued work in this direction, and now found that the protein P27, which is an inhibitor of the cell cycle (i.e., extends the life of cells), present in mitochondria of all major cell types of the heart. Moreover, this protein performs two important functions – it protects the heart muscle cells from death and also triggers the transformation of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) in cells containing contractile fibers. It is known that both of these processes promote recovery of heart muscle after myocardial infarction. They also help “heal” microdamages that can happen constantly.
Experiments on mice showed that caffeine causes P27 to move into the mitochondria, thereby enhancing the protection and resilience of heart cells. To start the mechanism, you need to drink four or five cups of coffee, say the authors.
According to Handler, they observed positive effects in rodents with diabetes and obesity, both in young and in elderly.
“Our results indicate a new mode of action of the caffeine, which contributes to the protection and recovery of the heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial protein P27,” explains the researcher.
The new data will help to improve the strategy to protect heart muscle from damage, which is important for patients aged. However, “coffee improvement” will be useful not only to people with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but also to all those who wish to improve their health, say the researchers.
But first they have to prove that the positive effects observed in mice, caffeine has on human cells.
Article with a more detailed description of this work was published in the journal PLOS Biology.
Recall of other useful and not so effects of coffee. So, just one Cup of invigorating drink in a day helps to cope with forgetfulness, and three cups of coffee protects men from prostate cancer. But, at the same time, the drink changes the perception of taste and confuses the body’s clock.