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There May Be An Anti-Inflammatory Effect Of Coffee And Milk

Can drinking milk with a cup of coffee have an anti-inflammatory effect on people?
milk coffee on a plate

A new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that a combination of proteins and antioxidants doubles the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells. The researchers hope to be able to study the health effects on humans. The study has just been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


Can drinking milk with a cup of coffee have an anti-inflammatory effect on people? A recent study from the University of Copenhagen suggests that this is the case. Anti-inflammatory effects in immune cells are doubled by the presence of proteins and antioxidants. The benefits to human health are something the researchers aim to investigate.

Our immune systems respond to bacteria, viruses, and other external invaders by releasing white blood cells and chemical compounds to defend us. This response, also known as inflammation, happens whenever our tendons and muscles are overworked and is indicative of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Humans, plants, fruits, and vegetables all contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants. In order to prevent rancidity and off flavours, this category of antioxidants is also utilised by the food industry to reduce oxidation and the degradation of food quality. Humans are also known to benefit from polyphenols because they lessen the oxidative stress that leads to inflammation in the body.

But there is still a lot to learn about polyphenols. Only a small number of research have looked into how polyphenols interact with other molecules, including the proteins added to the meals we eat.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food Science and the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences worked together on a recent study to examine how polyphenols interact with amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. The outcomes are encouraging.

“In the work, we demonstrate that a polyphenol’s ability to prevent inflammation in immune cells is strengthened as a result of an amino acid reaction with it. As a result, it is easily conceivable that this cocktail may potentially reduce inflammation in humans. We will now conduct additional research, initially on animals. After that, we’re hoping to get research funding so we can examine the impact on people “says the study’s director, Professor Marianne Nissen Lund of the Department of Food Science.


Inflammatory Effect Of Coffee And Milk

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry just released the report. The researchers deliberately inflamed immune cells to test if polyphenols and proteins have an anti-inflammatory impact. While some cells just received polyphenols in the same amounts, some cells received different doses of polyphenols that had interacted with an amino acid. An untreated group served as the control.

The researchers found that adding polyphenols and amino acids to immune cells doubled their ability to reduce inflammation compared to cells that simply received polyphenols.

“It is intriguing that the anti-inflammatory impact has now been seen in cell tests. And it goes without saying that this has just piqued our curiosity about learning more about these health implications. Studying the impacts on animals will thus be the next step “According to senior author of the study and Associate Professor Andrew Williams from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences’ Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.

The researchers’ earlier investigations showed that polyphenols bind to proteins in milk, beer, and meat products. They examined if the molecules also interact with one another in a coffee beverage with milk in a recent study that was published in Food Chemistry. Indeed, milk is a great source of proteins, while coffee beans are full of polyphenols.

“Our findings show that some of the coffee drinks with milk that we looked at also experience the response between polyphenols and proteins. In fact, because the response occurs so quickly, it has been challenging to prevent it in any of the foods that we have thus far tested “Marianne Nissen Lund adds.

It is therefore not difficult for the researcher to think that the reaction and maybe advantageous anti-inflammatory impact also occur when other foods consisting of proteins and fruits or vegetables are mixed.

If you make sure to include some protein, like milk or yoghurt, Marianne Nissen Lund speculates that something similar may occur in, say, a beef meal with veggies or a smoothie.

The main benefits of polyphenols have been noted by both industry and the research community. In order to obtain the highest quality, they are figuring out how to add the proper amount of polyphenols to foods. In this regard, the latest research findings are also encouraging:

“Many scientists are researching how to encapsulate polyphenols in protein structures to increase their absorption in the body because humans do not absorb that much polyphenol. The additional benefit of this approach is that it increases polyphenols’ anti-inflammatory actions “Marianne Nissen Lund states.


All the macronutrients are present in sufficient levels when milk is added to coffee; only one ounce of milk has 1.5 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of protein, and 1 g of fat. Additionally, milk offers important micronutrients like calcium. 100 grammes of milk contain 123 mg of calcium.

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