Coffee with milk or macchiato, according to a study from the University of Copenhagen, is very useful for the human body.
This drink contains protein and antioxidants, a combination that increases anti-inflammatory properties in the immune cells of the human body.
Inflammation is the physical response the body gives when it deploys white blood cells and other types of chemicals to defend itself against bacteria, viruses, or other foreign substances.
Antioxidants, in turn, help reduce oxidative stress that causes inflammation in the body. These antioxidants, also called polyphenols, are present in humans as well as in fruits and vegetables. And, despite their benefits, they have been little studied.
Especially when it comes to knowing how they react to proteins found in other foods.
This is the focus of the Danish study, published this Monday, in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry". The inflammatory effect produced by the combination of polyphenols and proteins was studied there.
Researchers have shown that "when a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its anti-inflammatory effect on immune cells is enhanced," said lead scientist Marianne Nissen Lund.
"Therefore, it is clear that this mixture may have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans," she added.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers induced artificial inflammation in the immune cells. And then, some of them, they got different doses of polyphenols that had reacted with an amino acid. For another group they chose to use only polyphenols and recently the control group was not given any kind of dose. The results showed that the cells of the first group proved to be twice as effective against inflammation than those of the second.
So far, studies have shown that these molecules attach to proteins in meat products, milk and beer. And, for this study, they wanted to investigate whether the same thing happens when milk is mixed with coffee, which contains a large amount of polyphenols. "Our result shows that the reaction between polyphenols and proteins also occurs in the macchiato we studied," said Marianne Nissen Lund. Moreover, "the reaction occurs so quickly that it has been difficult to avoid it in any of the foods we have studied so far."