Coffee Components can Reduce Risks of Developing Grave Illnesses Print Write e-mail
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Antioxidants - Antioxidants 2010
Written by Frank Mangano   
Friday, 10 September 2010 20:03

Coffee has become one of the staple, favourite drinks of a plethora of people worldwide.  It is normally included in people’s everyday routine and diet. Coffee consumption has reportedly generated more than half of a hundred billion dollars worldwide.

Because of its frequent consumption, it has largely stimulated the attention of several scientists in the past to explore its potential risks. However, more positive studies and a lot of evidence have also been emerging in support of the benefits of coffee. Some of these even support the growing notion that health benefits of coffee outnumber the risks.

As in many aspects in life — be it tangible things such as food and drinks, or abstractions - too much of anything is bad. As such, provided that coffee is taken responsibly and in moderate levels, coffee proves to be safe for healthy individuals. Furthermore, it has been associated with the prevention of several health conditions and diseases, particularly with diabetes and liver conditions; and has beneficial effects on mental and physical soundness.

Recent Findings: DNA damage-prevention

Funded by the Institute of Scientific Information on Coffee (ISC), a recently conducted study by a team of researchers from University of Belgrade, Nestle, and University of Vienna yielded significant results on the benefits of paper-filtered coffee. Reportedly, it has a potent effect on preventing and protecting against oxidative DNA-damage.

As published in Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, the study involved 38 participants in the controlled intervention trial, which were tasked to either consume water or 800 ml of coffee for a period of five days, and on a daily basis. Results showed that people who drank a moderate amount of coffee garnered a decrease in DNA damage.

This was primarily based on the measurement of how much oxidised purines were reduced, and the yielded figures were tantamount to 12 percent. At the same time, the blood belonging to the coffee drinkers group was also observed: It did not have any substantial changes in its antioxidant levels, or reactive oxygen species.

According to Mario Ferruzzi of Purdue University, coffee remains as one of the richest polyphenol sources in the West — one cup already provides a significant amount of 350 milligrams of the said phenolics. Furthermore, chlorogenic acids are the most abundant compounds, which accounts for 12 percent of the green coffee bean. Ferruzzi went on to say that further study on “how the beverage composition impacts phenolic profiles and their bioavailability” will largely advance the development, creation, and production of beverages that provide particular and favourable health effects.

Clearly, the studied beneficial activities of various compounds found in coffee are a major source of future findings. The area proves to be a promising study focus, in order to further support the significance of natural remedies to one’s health.

“More benefits than harm”

Apart from European-related findings, other credible studies have also shown evidence that exhibit the potential and actual benefits of coffee in the American setting. In 2005, the University of Scranton released information that coffee is actually the leading source of antioxidants in the overall American diet. While fruits and vegetables remain the richest antioxidant sources, Americans get the highest levels of antioxidants from their coffee.

Even a research scientist from the Institute for Coffee Studies in Vanderbilt and simultaneously a renowned medical researcher who has been engaging in studies on coffee effects worldwide, Tomas DePaulis, said that while potential detriments may occur through coffee, various researches show that the health benefits of coffee outnumber the risks and negative effects.

These claims, which may seem surprising to the uninitiated, are founded on credible and ample research. Furthermore, findings do not just settle with general statements on the potential and actual benefits of coffee. The following lists offers brief details on some of the conditions that coffee helps prevent.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is due to the lack of sufficient dopamine in one brain portion. Coffee contents such as caffeine and polyphenols aid in preventing dopamine depletion.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2000, a study that spanned over 30 years showed that among 8,000 Japanese and American men, the ones who consumed at least 3 daily cups of coffee had 5 times lower risks of having Parkinson’s disease. What experts theorize is that the caffeine content in reduces the number of harmful neuro-transmitters that may impose damage to the brain. Furthermore, caffeine reportedly may also interfere with other transmitter uptake; thus, it contributes to the increase of dopamine levels.


While older research ventures indicated that coffee can potentially cause cancer, newer evidence nullifies this claim. According to authoritative bodies, such as the American Institute of Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, coffee does not cause cancer. If there are links, these show the potent effects on cancer prevention caused by some of coffee’s powerful and healthy compounds.

One of the particular studies, among many others, was conducted by German researchers. They discovered that coffee contains a powerful antioxidant compound called methylpyridinium, which is a potential component that protects people from developing colon cancer. In the course of their conducted study, results showed that stronger coffee contain richer, higher concentrations or levels of the said potential anti-cancer agent.


Recent findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, based on a research that involved a group of laboratory mice, showed that coffee has a protective and preventive benefit against diabetes. Scientists believe that the coffee component that enables these favourable effects is caffeine. Evidence has shown that when coffee was consumed, the mice exhibited improved insulin sensitivity; and high-blood sugar development was inhibited. As such, the risk of developing diabetes was also significantly reduced.

The scientists also commented, in relation to additional laboratory studies, that caffeine is potentially one of the leading anti-diabetic coffee components.

Mental health

Studies show that coffee is a proven stimulant for the mind, with yielded results that show how several people exhibit better performance during exams when they drank coffee prior to the test. For optimal results, low caffeine dosages of around two cups per day are necessary. According to experts who studied how coffee stimulates the brain, this activity takes place due to caffeine. It can block adenosine receptors that inhibit the brains excitatory neurotransmitters: Thus, caffeine is able to trigger and increase the activity of the body’s CNS.

There are several other studies that show the significance of natural remedies through risk-reducing effects of coffee. The best part is that the many myths of coffee’s various side effects and links to severe conditions have largely been debunked. Through increasing research efforts, it seems that the staple well-loved beverage, when taken in moderation, is actually a healthy and health-protective choice of drink.




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