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Coffee Has A Molecule That May Help With Aging Muscles: Study

New research suggests that a natural substance present in some plants may assist to enhance the health and function of muscles. Trigonelline, a chemical present in high concentrations in coffee, is another addition to the extensive list of possible health advantages linked to one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide.

An alkaloid molecule known as tripeonelline can be found in many different plants, including fenugreek, barley, corn, soybeans, onions, and tomatoes, although it is most abundant in coffee.

Trigonelline levels in the blood of multiple species were examined in a study that was published last week in the journal Nature Metabolism. It was discovered that high levels of trigonelline were positively connected with muscle strength and function. On the other hand, sarcopenia—the age-related decrease of skeletal muscle mass and strength—was associated with low levels.

“We were excited to discover through collaborative research that a natural molecule from food cross-talks with cellular hallmarks of ageing,”  said study co-leader Jerome Feige, Ph.D., who oversees Nestlé Research’s physical health division in Switzerland. “The benefits of trigonelline on cellular metabolism and muscle health during ageing opens promising translational applications,” Feige continued.

Researchers from Switzerland, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Iran, and Australia were among those who lead the work.

Muscle mitochondria, or the cell’s power plants, lose some of their capacity to produce energy as we age. Aging-related decreases in the concentration of a molecule known as NAD+ are a major cause of this. In addition to being essential for mitochondrial activity, NAD+ also plays a part in immune cell and DNA repair and regulation.

According to the study, trigonelline can be converted in a cell to make NAD+, making it a “precursor” to NAD+. Forms of vitamin B3 and the amino acid L-tryptophan, which can be found in a variety of foods like chicken, milk, cheese, oats, and bananas, are additional precursors of NAD+.

The mice’s NAD+ levels rose, their mitochondria were more active, and their muscular function was better preserved as they aged when the researchers gave them a trigonelline supplement.

Vincenzo Sorrentino, a researcher from the Yong Loo School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, who co-led the work, said, “Our findings expand the current understanding of NAD+ metabolism with the discovery of trigonelline as a novel NAD+ precursor and increase the potential of establishing interventions with NAD+-producing vitamins for both healthy longevity and age-associated diseases applications.”

Reduced NAD+ levels have been connected to cancer, metabolic disorders, frailty, cognitive decline, and loss of muscle mass. However, there is some evidence that increasing NAD+ levels can mitigate some of these adverse effects. In studies using mice, tripeonelline has also been connected to enhancements in memory, learning, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Coffee has been connected to a number of possible health advantages, including improved cardiovascular health. But excessive caffeine use can have a number of drawbacks, such as headaches, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Furthermore, while black coffee contains very little calories, popular coffee-based drinks frequently have high levels of added sugar and fat, which can have detrimental effects on diet when drank in excess.

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