Scientific studies on coffee and caffeine emerge virtually every day from laboratories around the world. In 2012 alone, NCA has tracked about 300 such studies and continues to uncover new ones on a regular basis. Since 2000, a large majority of those studies have reached conclusions that make up a long menu of health benefits in America’s favorite beverage.
Here are just a few of the most recent findings.
Scientists in New Zealand have found that the antioxidant in coffee, chlorogenic acid, is the only one that delivered the benefits of protecting essential DNA from damage from “oxidative stress,” or the daily onslaught of cell exposure that generates “free radicals” that cause bodily inflammations. This finding, by Dr. Manisha A. Rathod and team at the University of Auckland, could be at the core of the benefits observed in other studies that have associated coffee with a reduced risk for liver damage, certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and other neuro-degenerative maladies.
A study by Japanese scientists has concluded that coffee holds special anti-bacterial properties for the digestive system. Specifically, Dr. T. Nakayama and K. Oishi at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases at Osaka University, found that there was far less E. coli and Clostridium in the colons of test mice that were fed coffee. The researchers also hypothesized that coffee’s antibacterial activity could contribute to dampening outbreaks of E. coli poisoning, such as 2011’s severe cases in Japan and Germany.
A large roundup study – or “meta-analysis” – was completed by Chinese scientists to examine the wider literature on coffee’s perceived benefits on reducing the risk of breast cancer. Drs. Wenjie Jiang, Yili Wu and Xiubo Jiang concluded that there is a clear “inverse relationship” between coffee and breast cancer incidence among women with a certain pre-disposing gene mutation (the BRCA1 gene) and post-menopausal women. The authors found that the risk of breast cancer decreased by 2% for every 2 cups of coffee consumed per day. Something special about coffee’s impact also became clear in their finding that caffeine administration alone appeared to result in a smaller risk reduction.
As its scientific committee continues to track studies on coffee, caffeine and health, NCA keeps its finger on the pulse of current research. Stay tuned as NCA continues to keep you informed.