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May 2023
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Dark Roasting Coffee Beans Can Optimize Its Antioxidant Content

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that roasting coffee beans can further improve its antioxidant content.

Drinking too much coffee can be harmful to your health. This can result to insomnia, heart palpitations and anxiety. But the moderate intake of coffee can offer some preventive health benefits. Studies have found that drinking a few cups of coffee in a day can reduce the risk of certain cancer and even dementia.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that dark roasted coffee beans offer the most antioxidants than other coffee varieties. They observed that roasting the coffee beans releases their antioxidant content. The researchers added that antioxidants are important because they inhibit the oxidative processes and protect cells from the damage caused by unstable free radicals; the damage caused by free radicals can lead to chronic diseases and cancer.

The study was headed by David Kitts and Yazheng Liu, and is scheduled to be published in the Food Research International. The researchers found that when raw green coffee beans are browned by exposing them to high temperatures, a chemical process called the Maillard reaction occurs which optimizes the antioxidant content of roasted Java coffee beans.

The Various Health Benefits of Coffee

More than 90 percent of the world’s population drinks coffee, and there is a reason behind this. Coffee is a rich source of essential nutrients and strong antioxidants. It also contains compounds that help in keeping people awake and alert, especially while at work. Health professionals recommend limiting coffee intake. There are several studies showing that too much caffeine can lead to health complications like increased blood pressure. But moderate drinking of coffee can actually produce beneficial health results. Studies show that the antioxidants and other compounds in coffee can counter the risk factors of stroke and heart attack like heart rhythm disturbances and diabetes.

Against Arrhythmia. A study consisting of around 130,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members found that study participants who drank around 1 to 3 cups of coffee in a day are 20 percent less likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm than non-coffee drinkers. A study on 83,700 nurses enrolled in the Nurse’s health study found that participants who drink two or more cups of coffee in a day can lead to a 20 percent lowered risk of stroke than those who drink less. This finding was independent of other risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Against Liver Cancer. Japanese researchers found that people who drink coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer.  The study consisted of more than 61,000 participants. The researchers believed that this is due to the chlorogenic acid content of coffee. Arabica coffee contains up to seven percent of chlorogenic acid while robusta coffee contains up to 10 percent. With the help of caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid protects the cells and cerebral neurons from the damage caused by oxidation.  It also normalizes colon function and promotes cellular differentiation. This effect has also been found to inhibit the growth and induce the death of breast cancer cells.

French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard was first to investigate the effects of heat towards proteins, sugars and carbohydrates in food; thus, the process was named after him. During the heating process, different flavored compounds are produced and are broken down to form other compounds. Different foods produce different compounds during the Maillard reaction. As for roasting coffee beans, it produces more antioxidants.

Researchers said that other studies suggest that the antioxidants in coffee can be traced to its chlorogenic acid and caffeine content that is found in green coffee beans. But he added that the Maillard reaction is responsible for creating coffee’s antioxidant content.

Against Prostate Cancer. According to their findings, drinking dark roasted java coffee supplies the body with more antioxidants than other coffee varieties. The benefits of coffee include cancer and chronic disease prevention. A study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard University found that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. They observed that men who drank the most amount of coffee are 60 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer that those who were not in the habit of drinking coffee.

Against Alzheimer’s Disease. A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed than drinking coffee can have a long-term effect in maintaining cognitive function and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at old age. The researchers from Finland randomly selected study participants from a population-based cohort who previously participated in a related study. The participants were observed for an average of 21 years. More than 1400 participants who were 65 to 79 years old completed the study. They observed that coffee drinkers had lower risk of developing dementia at midlife and Alzheimer’s disease at old age. Participants who were in the habit of drinking 3 to 5 cups in a day had a 65 percent lesser chance of developing dementia of Alzheimer’s disease.

Against Depression. A related study published in the Nutrition and Neuroscience investigated the link between coffee consumption and people’s cooperative behavior and sociability. The researchers gathered a group of 77 moderate coffee drinkers and were asked to play a game with an imaginary person. After drinking coffee, the participants displayed fewer signs of sadness and were more open and responsive to their imaginary player. Other studies had found that men and women who drank coffee are less likely to develop depressive symptoms and have lower tendencies of committing suicide.

Coffee: A Richer Source of Antioxidants

Researchers had found that coffee is the primary source of antioxidants of Americans. Studies show that there are more antioxidants in a normal serving of coffee than in a typical serving of oranges, raspberries, grape juice and blueberries. In addition, a cup of coffee has four times more antioxidants than a cup of green tea.

A Fair Warning to Coffee Drinkers

Despite the piling evidence showing that coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, James Lane from Duke University Medical Center said that there hasn’t been any study investigating whether the antioxidants from coffee can indeed reach the bloodstream. He, however, added that there is enough proof to show that caffeine from coffee can reach the blood stream and can lead to hypertension and increase levels of adrenaline.


Related Posts

  1. Attention Coffee Drinkers
  2. Boost your Brain Activity with the Coffee Aroma
  3. Coffee Can Prevent Certain Types of Cancer, New US Study Says
  4. Coffee: The Liver’s Libation
  5. Antioxidant Rich Foods Improve Immune Function and Increase Lifespan, Study Shows

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