New research claims that cappuccino has several beneficial effects on our health. Precisely thanks to the mix of coffee and milk
That the coffee has health benefits, according to various scientific researches. And even milk is a food that is appreciated from a nutritional point of view (unless there are intolerances). But what mix coffee and milk, in cappuccino or caffellattecould enhance the effects of both, nobody had said it yet: a group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen did it, according to which a cup of coffee with milk can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body .
Coffee and milk: polyphenols + proteins
Whenever bacteria, viruses and foreign substances enter our body, the immune system reacts by deploying white blood cells and other chemicals to protect us. This reaction is known as inflammation and to curb it, so that it is no more harmful than expected, the antioxidants that we take with food, including i polyphenols able to reduce oxidative stress in the body that gives rise to inflammation.
I polyphenols, of which coffee is richare still being studied by the scientific community. And to date no one had investigated what happens when they react with other molecules found in the foods we consume.
Cappuccino: because it’s good for you according to science
In a new study, some researchers from Food Sciences and Veterinary Sciences from the University of Copenhagen wanted to investigate just how polyphenols when combined with amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. And the results were quite surprising. “We proved that when a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its inhibitory effect on inflammation in immune cells is enhanced. Therefore, it is conceivable that this cocktail could also have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans,” admits Marianne Nissen Lund from the Department of Food Sciences, who led the research.
To study the anti-inflammatory effect of the mix of polyphenols and proteins, the researchers applied “artificial” inflammation to immune cells: some of them received doses of polyphenols that had reacted with an amino acid and others only polyphenols. The discovery was that immune cells exposed to the combination of polyphenols and amino acids were twice as effective at fighting inflammation compared to cells to which only polyphenols had been added.
Coffee and milk: a healthy mix?
Previous studies had shown that polyphenols bind to proteins in meat, milk and beer products. And the same Danish researchers have verified in another study how the molecules bind to each other even in a coffee drink with milk. In fact, coffee beans are rich in polyphenols, while milk is rich in proteins. “Our study shows that the reaction between polyphenols and proteins also occurs in some of the coffee drinks with milk ”, explains Professor Marianne Nissen Lund.
But coffee and milk aren’t the only possible combinations of polyphenols and proteins. According to the researchers, the reaction and potentially beneficial anti-inflammatory effect can occur even when other protein foods are combined with fruit or vegetables . “I can imagine something similar happening, for example, in a meat dish with vegetables or in a smoothie, if you make sure to add proteins such as milk or yoghurt,” comments the researcher.
The next step now will be to figure out how to integrate more polyphenols into foods . “Because we don’t absorb that many polyphenols, many researchers are investigating how to encapsulate them in protein structures that improve their absorption into the body. This strategy would have the added benefit of enhancing the anti-inflammatory effects of the polyphenols,” concludes Nissen Lund.
Polyphenols: what they are and what they are for
Polyphenols are a group of natural antioxidants that are important, because they prevent and delay the oxidation of healthy chemicals and organs in the body, thus protecting us from oxidative stress. They are found in a variety of foods such as fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine and beer. Due to their antioxidant properties, polyphenols are also used in the food industry for minimize fat oxidation as well as the deterioration of food quality.
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