Have you ever considered that the steaming hot coffee you swallow to get yourself up in the middle of a particularly challenging Monday might actually be defending you from COVID?
According to a recent study conducted by a group of scientists from Jacobs University, drinking coffee may help you from getting the viral illness. Although the study is still in its early phases, the results are positive.
The researchers conducted an experiment to demonstrate that the chemical compound 5-caffeoylquinic acid, also known as chlorogenic acid, is present in coffee and can, in vitro, inhibit by a factor of 50 the interaction between the SARS CoV-2 spike protein of the coronavirus and the ACE-2 receptor, the virus's docking site on the human cell.
About 100 milligrams of 5-caffeoylquinic acid are present in a 200-milliliter cup of filter coffee. Additionally, laboratory tests revealed that this concentration is more than sufficient to prevent the interaction between the aforementioned viral protein and human cell receptor.
Some parameters, however, need to be evaluated in real-time. For instance, it is unknown whether or how long the virus would be inhibited by this treatment or if it would even be effective outside of a lab setting.
"The practical question of whether drinking coffee may actually function as a prophylactic step to defend against infection is one that chemists are unable to answer. However, it is conceivable, " said Nikolai Kuhnert, the study's lead author.
To determine if habitual coffee users contract the coronavirus more frequently or not, epidemiological studies will be the next stage in this investigation, according to Kuhnert. Additionally, the context and consequences of lengthy COVID can be considered.
The findings of this study are published in Food & Function and can be accessed here.