Coffee is not only a beloved beverage for many, but it could also have potential benefits in protecting against severe COVID illness, according to a new study from China Medical University. Previous research has shown that polyphenols, which are antioxidants found in many plant foods, can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of severe disease. Since coffee contains a significant amount of polyphenols, researchers aimed to explore whether consuming the beverage could reduce the risk of severe COVID illness.
The study evaluated a group of 64 adult participants and found that consuming one to two cups of coffee per day helped prevent infection by multiple COVID variants. Both ground coffee and instant coffee, as well as decaffeinated coffee, were found to have benefits. The researchers discovered that coffee can hinder the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 infection by blocking the spike protein from binding to the ACE2 enzyme, the primary receptor for the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, it reduced the activity of proteins and enzymes associated with severe COVID illness.
Although this study provides valuable insights, it is important to note that more research is needed before concluding that coffee is protective against COVID infection. Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, pointed out that while the mechanism for uptake at the ACE2 cells appears accurate, the study used a pseudovirus rather than the actual virus. Furthermore, he emphasized that coffee may increase stomach acidity, which could be problematic for individuals experiencing COVID-related stomach issues such as GERD.
Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, an infectious disease expert, agreed that the study raises interesting concepts but underscored the importance of replication in larger-scale studies. Vaccination remains the most effective method of preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing its severity. It is essential to seek advice from healthcare professionals regarding proper preventive measures and treatments. While coffee may hold potential benefits, more research is necessary to understand the full scope of its effects in relation to COVID-19.
Does coffee protect against severe COVID illness?
The study suggests that consuming one to two cups of coffee per day may help reduce the risk of severe COVID illness. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the full extent of coffee’s protective effects.
Is coffee consumption beneficial for COVID prevention?
While coffee contains polyphenols, which can boost the immune system, it is important to note that more studies are required before concluding that coffee directly protects against COVID infection. Vaccination and other preventive measures recommended by healthcare professionals remain the most effective means of preventing COVID-19 infection.
Can drinking coffee increase the risk of stomach problems related to COVID?
Coffee has been associated with increased stomach acidity, and there is a connection between COVID-19 and heightened stomach problems such as GERD. It is advisable to consult healthcare professionals if you are experiencing COVID-related stomach issues and to consider the best course of action.
What is the best way to protect against COVID-19 infection?
Vaccination is currently the most effective method of preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing its severity. It is essential to follow the guidance of healthcare professionals and stay updated on the latest preventive measures and treatments.