Coffee and Milk: A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Duo Uniting Polyphenols and Proteins
Have you ever thought about the health benefits that might come with a simple cup of coffee with milk? Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found that combining the antioxidants found in coffee with the proteins in milk can double their anti-inflammatory properties. This intriguing discovery opens the door for further investigation into the potential health benefits of such a combination.
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Polyphenols, a group of antioxidants found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and coffee, are known for their health benefits. They help reduce oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to inflammation. However, much remains unknown about polyphenols, particularly how they react with other molecules like proteins found in the foods we consume.
In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers at the University of Copenhagen collaborated with the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences to investigate the behavior of polyphenols when combined with amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
The results were promising, showing that the combination of polyphenols and amino acids enhanced the anti-inflammatory
effect on immune cells. This finding suggests that such a "cocktail" could also have beneficial effects on inflammation in humans.
The study team conducted experiments using artificial inflammation on immune cells. Some cells received doses of polyphenols that had reacted with amino acids, while others received only polyphenols. The control group received nothing. The immune cells treated with the combination of polyphenols and amino acids were twice as effective at fighting inflammation as the cells receiving only polyphenols.
In another study, the researchers found that polyphenols bind to proteins in meat products, milk, and beer. They also discovered that the molecules bind to each other in coffee drinks with milk. This reaction occurs so quickly that it has been challenging to avoid in the foods studied so far.
The study team believe that the reaction and potentially beneficial anti-inflammatory effect could also occur when other foods consisting of proteins and fruits or vegetables are combined. Examples include a meat dish with vegetables or a smoothie with added milk or yogurt.
Both the industry and the research community have recognized the significant advantages of polyphenols. They are working on adding the right quantities of polyphenols in foods to achieve the best quality. The new research results are promising in this context. Many researchers are studying how to encapsulate polyphenols in protein structures to improve their absorption in the body, which also enhances their anti-inflammatory effects.
The study team plans to study the effects of combining polyphenols and proteins in animals before proceeding to human trials. The findings could lead to the development of healthier plant-based foods that exploit the enhanced anti-inflammatory effects of combined polyphenols and proteins.
Although more research is needed to fully understand the interactions between polyphenols and dairy products and their impact on lactose and cas
ein intolerance, the study has shed light on the potential benefits of combining milk with coffee. Not only is the duo a delicious treat, but it could also provide serious anti-inflammatory advantages, making that morning cup of coffee even more enjoyable.