NYHED – Kaffe og polyfenoler



Coffee, polyphenols and cardiovascular disease

By Professor Kjeld Hermansen, Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

Coffee is arguably one of the most studied components of our diet, with an extensive range of research published in areas of mental performance, sports performance, fluid balance, type 2 diabetes, liver function, neurodegenerative disorders, pregnancy, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Research investigating associations between coffee intake and the risk of CVD presents an interesting overview suggesting that a moderate intake of coffee is associated with a reduced mortality from CVD.

Polyphenols are plant-based compounds. There is much interest in their potential role in health through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Coffee is one of the main sources of polyphenols in the diet, and polyphenols in coffee contribute to the unique flavors and aromas that typify coffee beverages5. Additionally, there is growing interest in the role of polyphenols in health.

A moderate intake of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers as well as CVD. Research suggests that a moderate intake of coffee of 3–5 cups a day is associated with a 15% reduced risk of CVD. Although the precise mechanism of action is still not clarified, it is suggested that polyphenols in coffee could exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects including having pivotal roles on lipid and glucose metabolism, thereby contributing to the reduced risk of CVD.

This report gives a brief outline of the current research on polyphenols, coffee and CVD highlighting a potential role for these compounds in reducing the risk of CVD. Although there are a number of studies available, further research is required to understand the associations and mechanisms of action in more detail.

This report is suitable for healthcare professionals, researchers and medical journalists. It is not intended as a scientific review of the literature, rather as a general overview of current scientific research, and where this research could be developed in future.

Key research findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Epidemiological research suggests that there is an association between the consumption of polyphenols and reduction in CVD prevalence.
  • Polyphenols may have a range of cardio protective functions but the precise mechanisms are not yet fully understood. It is suggested that they may alter cholesterol absorption and the processing of fats in the body, and reduce inflammation.
  • Coffee is one of the main sources of polyphenols in the diet.

DOWNLOAD – Expert report: Coffee, polyphenols and cardiovascular disease

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