Caffeine: the world's psychoactive compound of choice. Whether you take yours in a bitter, dark, hot fluid, or a tiny, horrible-tasting shot, or even a powder sachet you pour into a glass of water, there is an increasing diversity of delivery systems for the mild upper.
Its increasing ubiquity especially in formats that appeal to young people have led to recent calls for action by legislators and the media alike. These range from labeling all caffeine content in a beverage to eliminating the energy shot market altogether.
Thrown into this frothy controversy is the latest scientific reckoning.
In a study published December 1 in Longevity & Healthspan, researchers found chronic caffeine consumption "may target conserved longevity pathways," resulting in extended life span and improved healthspan.
Caveat: the study was conducted on Caenorhabditis elegans. As in, microscopic worms.
Still, science marches on, you've got to begin somewhere, and these researchers posited that caffeine's metabolic pathways make it a potential treatment for 'human disease like Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease."
Can anybody else imagine Starbucks shops at your local assisted-living facilities?