Ep. 14: Is Your Morning Brew the Secret Weapon Against Inflammation?

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

Muzykiewicz-Szymańska, A., Nowak, A., Wira, D., & Klimowicz, A. (2021). The Effect of Brewing Process Parameters on Antioxidant Activity and Caffeine Content in Infusions of Roasted and Unroasted Arabica Coffee Beans Originated from Different Countries. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)26(12), 3681. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26123681



Hello, hello! Happy Tuesday, and welcome back to another episode of the Inflamed in the Brain podcast. I'm your host, Krissy, and today's episode is a special one because we're diving deep into the world of coffee. I have a personal love affair with this magical brew—it's an integral part of my morning ritual, shared with my partner Arthur. Many significant conversations about life and goals have unfolded over a cup of coffee, making this episode particularly sentimental. So, grab your favorite brew, and let's explore the anti-inflammatory benefits coffee brings to the table.

Understanding Free Radicals:

Before we savor the aromatic details of coffee, let's unravel the mystery of free radicals and oxidative stress. Picture free radicals as trouble-making molecules in our bodies, seeking electrons from other molecules, making them unstable. These troublemakers enter our bodies through environmental factors like air pollutants, cigarette smoke, and more. The danger lies in their potential to cause cellular damage, contributing to inflammation, premature cell death, and diseases like hypertension, arthritis, and certain cancers.

Main Points:

  • Antioxidant Content of Coffee:
    • Coffee, a true ally for fellow coffee lovers, boasts antioxidants like chlorogenic acids (CGAs), polyphenols, and flavonoids.
    • Brewing methods and bean types influence antioxidant activity. Roasted beans in hot brews exhibit higher antioxidative properties, with origins impacting radical scavenging abilities.
    • Incorporating coffee into your morning routine significantly enhances anti-inflammatory efforts, promoting a healthier you.
  • Coffee's Impact on Inflammatory Markers:
    • Antioxidants and polyphenols in coffee lower inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP).
    • CGAs in coffee neutralize free radicals, reducing inflammation. Additionally, polyphenols inhibit pathways leading to inflammatory marker production.
    • Coffee's CGAs help decrease the activity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a transcription factor responsible for expressing proinflammatory genes.
  • Coffee's Impact on Gut Health:
    • Coffee acts as a prebiotic, supporting beneficial bacteria in the gut. Chlorogenic acids break down into ferulic acid and caffeic acid, nurturing a healthy gut microbiome.
    • Supporting your gut health with coffee contributes to a robust immune system and a fortified gastrointestinal barrier, preventing inflammation and leaky gut.
  • How Much Coffee Should You Have:
    • The FDA recommends up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, roughly four cups of coffee, as generally safe.
    • Be mindful of your caffeine intake, considering factors like anxiety, sleep issues, and high blood pressure. Genetic variations, like those in the CYP1A2 gene, can influence how your body responds to coffee.
  • Healthy Ways to Enjoy Coffee:
    • Mindfully sweeten your coffee, avoiding excessive sugars that contribute to inflammation.
    • Experiment with alternative sweeteners or enjoy your coffee with cream, milk, or oat milk for a naturally sweet touch.
    • Consider the origin and cultivation methods of your coffee beans, opting for organic or environmentally certified options when possible.

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