I Love Studies That Validate My Shitty Habits

Illustration for article titled I Love Studies That Validate My Shitty Habits
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I’m gonna live forever!

As reported in a minute-long video I just watched on the USA Today website, drinking four cups of strong coffee each day will make you near-invincible. At least, it’s supposed to be brown gold for your heart, “according to a new study from a team of German researchers.” (Yes, just “German researchers.”) The aforementioned trough of coffee you glug every day can “set off a process that helps prevent heart attacks” and could “help the heart bounce back after a heart attack.” This is accomplished because of the caffeine (duh, dummy) which “makes older cells inside our blood vessels work like younger ones.” Not only does drinking a ton of coffee make you healthy, it’ll age ya backwards. Benjamin Button shit!


After locating the actual study, conducted by Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied of the Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf, and published in the journal PLOS Biology, I learned it’s a bit more complicated than the minute-video let on. Essentially, concentrated amounts of caffeine improve our endothelial cells, the lil guys who line the inside of our blood vessels and interact with mitochondrial protein p27, (the mitochondira, which we all remember from middle school, is the powerhouse of the cell.) P27—and this is where it gets tricky—protects heart muscle cells from cell death. More from Scientific Daily:

“[P27] 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.”

Haendeler writes:

“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine, one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27. 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.”

Next they’re gonna tell me coffee will do my taxes, pay my rent, comb my hair and tell me I’m beautiful. I’m not complaining, and it’s certainly nice to have my destructive behaviors validated by science, but four cups is kind of a lot, right? I grew up in Germany, the coffee was certainly different than the stateside stuff (re: more delicious) but I’m still suspect. What’s in the water over there?

If you gotta have your java, too, I’ll leave you with this: we’re fucking immortal, dude!!!!


URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.



My coffee habit has gotten to the point where my husband just leaves it by the bed when he leaves for work at night, and I wake up and chug it and go back to sleep until my alarm goes off. I can easily convince myself to sleep another hour without it. I figured if the coffee is what is getting my ass to the gym, at least it’s helping me maintain other healthy habits.