What does the research say?
Coffee contains a number of phytochemicals, many of which have antioxidant properties. There are more than 1,000 studies on the relationship between coffee drinking and cancer risk. Early studies have given a suggestion that coffee may increase the risk of cancer, but recently, more comprehensive studies suggest otherwise. It is assumed that caffeine may reduce the risk of colon cancer because it speeds up the passage of carcinogenic substances through the digestive tract, and reduces the time during which they were exposed to our body. Chlorogenic acid demonstrates antioxidant effects in laboratory studies.
It seems that caffeic acid acts as an antioxidant and works in several stages of cancer development, helps regulate cell growth, reduces inflammation and increases the self-destruction of cancer cells. It is believed that coffee has a favorable effect on the prevention of certain malignant diseases, such as cancer of the colon, liver, breast, prostate, brain, or the mouth and throat cancer, due to its exceptional antioxidant profile.
Coffee is also a source of lignans, compounds that can slow down the growth of cancer cells and boost the self-destruction of abnormal cells. But, drinking coffee should be moderate because more than three cups a day can cause insomnia, indigestion, tremors and agitation.
Coffee is a good source of B vitamins and antioxidants. An unfiltered coffee contains:
• Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that is the main phenol in coffee (decaf coffee contains a small proportion of these acids)
• Quinine acids, phytochemicals that contribute to sour taste
• Cafestol and kahweol, compounds resulting from the grain during cooking
• Caffeine, a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system
• N-methyl pyridinium (NMB), which is formed by baking beans and increases the antioxidant properties.
Coffee can be a stand-alone beverage when we need to raise energy but is excellent and as a basis for the preparation of cold drinks or cream cakes. Some research among people who drink up to five cups of coffee a day has shown that it can affect the increase levels of good cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.