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Coffee Protects Your DNA!


Deoxyribonucleic Acid, more commonly known simply as DNA, is, in the words of the National Institute of Health, “the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.” [1] Dr. Jill Seladi-Schulman states, “Why is DNA so important? Put simply, DNA contains the instructions necessary for life. The code within our DNA provides directions on how to make proteins that are vital for our growth, development, and overall health.” [2]

A variety of causes can damage DNA, and as we age that damage tends to accumulate, leading to accelerated aging of our organs and tissues, which can result in a wide range of health disorders.

Obviously, we want to protect our DNA, and recent research reveals an unlikely defender against DNA damage: coffee. That’s right. The world’s most popular beverage [3], what many of us routinely reach for to get our day started, has been shown to protect our DNA. In fact, this latest research shows that coffee reduced DNA damage by 23%! [4]

In the study, 100 adult coffee drinkers first went through a four-week period when coffee and other caffeine containing beverages were removed from the diet. At the end of this four-week period, blood work was performed and analyzed for DNA damage (measured by the amount of broken DNA strands). During the next four weeks, study participants drank a total of 500 ml (about 17 ounces of either freshly brewed dark roast coffee or water daily. Additional blood work was performed and analyzed for DNA damage at the end of this four-week period.

The results: At the conclusion of the study, the blood work of the coffee drinking group showed a 23% reduction in DNA damage, as compared to the water drinking group. The researchers concluded, “Our results indicate that regular consumption of a dark roast coffee blend has a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both, men and women.”

This new study complements similar coffee/water research from a few years back that showed that “consumption of the study coffee substantially lowered the level of spontaneous DNA strand breaks in WBC (white blood cells),” [5] and adds to an ever-growing body of research demonstrating coffee’s multiple benefits in numerous areas of human health. [6]

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to grab another hot cup of coffee… my DNA will thank me for it!

[4] Schipp D, Tulinska J, Sustrova M, et al. Consumption of a dark roast coffee blend reduces DNA damage in humans: results from a 4-week randomised controlled study. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Nov 17.

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