New discovery shows how caffeine can ward off cardiovascular disease

New research has shown how caffeine inhibits PCSK9 blood levels to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and fight cardiovascular disease.

Published Thu, Feb 17 2022 4:22 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Mar 15 2022 5:03 AM CDT

A new study on the protective effects of caffeine has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

New discovery shows how caffeine can ward off cardiovascular disease 01 |

Previous studies have shown a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease among habitual caffeine-consuming adults, equivalent to 400-600 milligrams of caffeine (roughly two or three cups of coffee) daily. Until now, a biochemical explanation hadn't been found by scientists.

Canadian researchers have identified how caffeine initiates a cascade effect to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. High levels of LDL cholesterol are correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that caffeine consumption was associated with decreased PCSK9 levels in the bloodstream. PCSK9 is a protein that inhibits the liver's ability to process excess LDL cholesterol. Therefore, caffeine's ability to reduce PCSK9 allows the liver to remove more LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.

"These findings now provide the underlying mechanism by which caffeine and its derivatives can mitigate the levels of blood PCSK9 and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Richard Austin, senior author of the study and professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University.

"We are excited to be pursuing this new class of medicines, or nutraceuticals, for the potential treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease," said study co-author and medicinal chemist Jakob Magolan, an associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster.

You can read more from the study here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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