Evaluating Coffee and Caffeine

October 27/Palermo, Italy/Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- A new study, "Coffee and Endothelial Function: A Battle Between Caffeine and Antioxidants," is now available. "Although coffee is largely consumed by adults in Western countries, controversy exists about its impact on the cardiovascular system. We recently demonstrated that caffeinated and decaffeinated espresso coffee have different acute effects on endothelial function in healthy subjects, measured using flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery," scientists in Palermo, Italy, report.

"In this study, we measured the antioxidant capacity of two coffee substances in terms of free stable radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl 50% inhibition (I(50) DPPH). The caffeinated coffee had a slightly higher antioxidant capacity than decaffeinated espresso coffee (I(50) DPPH: 1.13±0.02 vs 1.30±0.03?l; p<0.001). We suggest that the unfavorable effects observed after caffeinated coffee ingestion are due to caffeine and that the antioxidant activity is responsible for the increased FMD observed after decaffeinated coffee ingestion," wrote S. Buscemi and colleagues, University of Palermo.

The researchers concluded, "Further clinical and epidemiological studies are needed to understand the chronic effects of coffee consumption on health."

Buscemi and colleagues published their study in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition ("Coffee and Endothelial Function: A Battle Between Caffeine and Antioxidants," European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010;64(10):1242-3).

For additional information, contact S. Buscemi, University of Palermo, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Malattie Cardiovascolari e NefroUrologiche, Facolta di Medicina, Palermo, Italy.

From the November 15, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition