The debate over whether or not we should be drinking coffee brews on. In a previous blog post, we weigh some pros and cons to drinking this delicious dark brown elixir (author is an admitted coffee junkie). Now we can add to the discourse results from a new study in the Journal of Internal Medicine where researchers looked at the metabolomic response to coffee consumption in a three-stage clinical trial. In the three-month study, forty-seven coffee drinkers abstained from drinking coffee for one month. The second month, they consumed four cups of coffee/day and in the third month, eight cups. A total of 733 metabolites were measured and analyzed.
The results showed that 115 metabolites were significantly associated with coffee intake (P<0.05 and Q<0.05). “Eighty-two were of known identity and mapped to one of 33 predefined biological pathways. We observed a significant enrichment of metabolite members of five pathways (P < 0.05): (i) xanthine metabolism: includes caffeine metabolites, (ii) benzoate metabolism: reflects polyphenol metabolite products of gut microbiota metabolism, (iii) steroid: novel but may reflect phytosterol content of coffee, (iv) fatty acid metabolism (acylcholine): novel link to coffee and (v) endocannabinoid: novel link to coffee.”
No denying that coffee contains many bioactive compounds that may influence biological pathways. This study highlights some new pathways where coffee exerts important health benefits.