Pile of coffee beans on dark background

I often take it for granted that everyone is aware that coffee is good for you, a true health promoting disease fighting nectar of the Gods. Let’s be clear early on: coffee is good for you, and within reason, more the better it appears. I have been talking about the various benefits of coffee for at least a decade now, and that was well before I came up with Bomb Proof Coffee (BPC), which only adds additional benefits. Covering all the benefits of coffee is beyond the scope of this article, but one important finding may be the discovery of a key mechanism by which coffee exerts its benefits.

Coffee cup and saucer on a wooden table. Foam in the form of the heart.

A recent study may be why so many studies associate coffee intake with lower rates of disease and reduced mortality rates, in part via protecting our DNA. DNA mutations – due to oxidative damage from chemicals, sunlight, intense exercise, radiation of various types, etc – is a constant challenge to our body. The body can only repair so much damage to DNA, and over time that damage leads to disease such as cancer. The damage tends get worse with age as repair mechanisms become less effective. Coffee contains over 1000 biologically active phenolic compounds, some of which are only now being elucidated.

Side Note: I see people on Face Book posting something like “for this year, I plan to cut back on the caffeine!” Now, caffeine via say energy drinks and coffee are not interchangeable. The effects of energy drinks and coffee are different issues as energy drinks lack all the beneficial counter regulatory compounds found in coffee. Cut back on caffeine by drink less or no energy drinks, but coffee is another animal to energy drinks or the isolated term “caffeine.”

By mechanisms not totally clear, the study reported that drinking 500 ml of freshly brewed, dark roast coffee daily for 4 weeks resulted in a 23% reduction in DNA strand breaks compared to an equal amount of water. This is an amazing finding! There’s been some studies that suggest lighter/medium roast coffees contain higher levels of beneficial compounds, but this study used a dark roast, and while some beneficial compounds are reduced in dark roasts, some beneficial compounds are actually produced during the roasting process, thus, jury is still out as to the optimal roast as it relates to health promoting compounds. Coffee contains higher levels of anti oxidant compounds than red wine, or black and green tea. For those who want to delve into the science, here’s the abstract and a link to the full paper below:

“Consumption of a dark roast coffee blend reduces DNA damage in humans: results from a 4-week randomised controlled study,”

European Journal of Nutrition, 17 November, 2018.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the DNA protective effects of a standard coffee beverage in comparison to water consumption.

Methods

The single-blind, randomised controlled study with parallel design included healthy women (n = 50) and men (n = 50) recruited from the general Central European population. The subjects were randomised in a coffee and a control group, with stratification for sex and body mass index. The study comprised two periods of 4 weeks: a preconditioning period, with daily consumption of at least 500 ml water but no coffee, nor tea, nor any other caffeine-containing product. During the subsequent intervention period the coffee group consumed 500 ml of freshly brewed dark roast coffee blend per day, the control group consumed water instead. On the last day of each period, blood was drawn and analysed by comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) to assess the level of DNA damage (strand breakage).

Results

At the end of the intervention period the mean level of DNA strand breaks in the coffee group has decreased in comparison to the control group [difference in means 0.23% TI (tail intensity), p = 0.028]. The mean change from baseline (delta value) was − 23% in the coffee group (p = 0.0012). Effects of coffee intake were similar for men and women. During intervention, neither group showed any significant change in body weight or calorie intake.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that regular consumption of a dark roast coffee blend has a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both, men and women.

Full Paper HERE

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