Antioxidants: The Secret Of Coffee Health Benefits

The facts of Coffee

According to British Coffee Association, coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide. 65% of the coffee drinkers prefer to enjoy a cup with their breakfast. Coffee seems to be the pick-me-up drink for most of the people to keep them awake. In a 2022 report by World Population Review, the United States ranked as the top country that drank the most coffee. Finland leads the world in coffee consumption per person at 4 cups daily. Among the coffee beverages, Americano, latte and cappuccino being the most popular to be drank by coffee drinkers. An average adult are safely to consume up to 400mg caffeine per day, which is equal to 3-5 cups of coffee. 

Antioxidants and Health Benefits of Coffee 

When people think of coffee, they usually think of caffeine, the stimulant that keeps people awake. However, coffee contains a variety of antioxidants which offer us some health boosting benefits. Let's take a look what kind of antioxidants you can found in coffee. 


Cafestol is a natural diterpenes extracted from coffee beans. Cafestol demonstrates multiple pharmacological actions such as anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic activities. Excessive activation of inflammation is associated with numerous immune disease such as autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease and allergic reactions. Cafestol can regulate a variety of inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 to reduce inflammation. Besides, studies show that cafestol may have an inhibitory effect of cancer development. The anti-cancer activities of cafestol could be due to its ability to stimulate phase II detoxification process, thereby reducing DNA damage and preventing tumor initiation. In addition, cafestol involves in glucose uptake and inhibit lipid accumulation, therefore it exerts anti-diabetic properties. Last but not least, cafestol have hepatoprotective function by improving liver detoxification function. 


Trigonelline is a bitter alkaloid in coffee which serves to produce important aroma compounds. Trigonelline has been shown to possess antibacterial properties. It has been found to reduce incidence of dental caries due to its ability to prevent Streptococcus mutants from adhering to teeth enamel. Besides, trigonelline is a potent antimicrobial agent against highly invasive Salmonella enterica. Plants containing trigonelline at level more than 1000 ppm include coffee, has been reported to lower risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. 

Chlorogenic Acid

Chlorogenic acids are involved in the bitterness of coffee due to their decomposition in phenolic compounds during roasting. It has been extensively investigated in neurodegenerative disease because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant brain activity. Besides, chlorogenic acid also have hypoglycemic and lipid lowering effects. Chlorogenic acid could controls blood glucose and insulin to maintain blood glucose balance. Study shows that chlorogenic acid has a significant effect on reducing the accumulation of fat in liver caused by high sugar and high fat diets. 


The bitterness in some coffee beans can be connected to elevated quinine content. Quinine antioxidant activity becomes more potent after coffee is roasted significantly. Coffee contains tiny amount of quinine. Large quantity of quinine can be harmful and cause allergic reaction. 


Coffee melanoidins is the brown colour, nitrogenous compound in coffee. It is a powerful antioxidant formed in the process of roasting. Melanoidins carry anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as indicated by one study published in US National Library of Medicines. The ability of melanoidins to inhibit lipid oxidation may contribute to their health benefits, since lipid oxidation is involved in the development of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular disease. 


Caffeine is a stimulant and antioxidant at the same time. Caffeine can help cure headache, losing weight can boost short term memory. Low to moderate dose of caffeine (50-300mg) may cause increased alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate. However, higher doses may cause some negative side effects like anxiety, insomnia and increased heart rate. In prescription and over-the-counter medicines, caffeine is added to improve the effect of some pain killers. 


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