Coffee Found To
Increase The Body's Inflammatory Response
Systemic inflammation plays
a role in the pathophysiology of obesity, insulin resistance, ischemic
heart disease, the metabolic syndrome X and abnormal coagulation process.
There is also a large body of evidence that suggests that nutritional
factors exert their influence largely through their effects on blood
pressure, lipids, and lipoproteins, as well as on markers of inflammation
and coagulation. This leads scientists to believe that dietary
interventions designed to reduce the inflammatory process could
potentially be beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
(CVD). There is conflicting information now regarding the effects of
coffee consumption on the cardiovascular system. Researchers are of the
opinion that the effect of coffee consumption on various inflammatory
markers has not been well investigated.
To further understand the relationship between
coffee intake and the body’s inflammatory response, researchers tested the
hypothesis that there is a dose-response relation between several
inflammatory markers and coffee consumption, while taking into account
several potential confounders. The ATTICA study data was used. This study
is a health and nutrition survey that is currently being carried out in
the Greek province of Attica (an area that is 78 per cent urban and 22 per
Inclusion criteria in the study are: no clinical evidence of CVD,
atherosclerotic disease, or chronic viral infections. Subjects were
interviewed by trained personnel, using a standard questionnaire. Dietary
assessment was based upon a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
Consumption of nonrefined cereals and products, vegetables, legumes,
fruit, olive oil, dairy products, fish, nuts, potatoes, eggs, sweets,
poultry, red meat and meat products, coffee, and alcohol were measured.
Usual coffee consumption was categorised as rare (<100 m/d), moderate
(200-400 mL/d), and heavy (>400 mL/d). All subjects reported types of
C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid-A (SAA) were
measured along with Interleukin 6 (IL-6). Tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-
a), white blood cell count (WBC), lipid levels and blood chemistries were
also measured. Demographic information was collected. Finally, blood
pressure was measured following a physical examine.
coffee nondrinkers, men who consumed >200 mL coffee/d had 50 per cent higher
IL-6 , 30 per cent higher CRP, 12 per cent higher SAA, and 28% higher TNF- aconcentrations
and 3 per cent higher WBC counts (all: P < 0.05). Women who consumed >200 mL
coffee/d had 54 per cent higher IL-6, 38 per cent higher CRP, 28 per cent higher SAA, and 28
higher TNF- a concentrations and 4 per cent higher WBC counts (all: P < 0.05)
than did non coffee drinkers. These findings remained significant even
following control for the interactions between coffee consumption and age,
sex, smoking, body mass index, physical activity status and other
It appears that there is a relationship between
moderate-to-high coffee consumption and increased inflammation process.
This may partially explain the effect of increased coffee intake on the
A. Zampelas, D.
Panagiotakos, C. Pitsavos, et al. Associations between coffee consumption
and inflammatory markers in healthy persons: the ATTICA study.
J Clin Nutr;80:862-867 (October, 2004).
46 Paleaon Polemiston
Glyfada, Attica, 166 74, Greece
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