Why you should drink coffee with milk, according to scientists

Why you should drink coffee with milk, according to scientists

  • Coffee with milk doubled the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells
  • The study was conducted in a lab, so the scope of findings could be limited 
  • Danish researchers will now investigate effect on animals and then humans  

You might prefer the taste of black coffee.

But scientists now say there’s a reason why you should give it up.

For adding milk to your brew may make a cuppa twice as good for you, in theory. 

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, analysed how antioxidants, known as polyphenols, behave when combined with amino acids, the building blocks of proteins 

Coffee is packed full of antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce inflammation. 

Inflammation is the body’s response to a threat — such as bacteria, toxins, trauma, even extreme temperature — injuring tissue in the body.

However, chronic inflammation increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. 

New research suggests that consuming items rich in polyphenols alongside those full of amino acids — such as milk — makes the antioxidants even more effective at reducing inflammation.

Very few studies had looked at what happens when polyphenols — which are also found in fruits and vegetables, tea, red wine and beer — are combined with other molecules in foods, such as amino acids — the building blocks of protein.

To investigate this, researchers at the University of Copenhagen applied artificial inflammation to immune cells.   

Some of the cells received differing doses of polyphenols that had reacted with an amino acid (reflecting coffee with milk) — while others only received polyphenols in the same doses (mirroring black coffee). 

A control group received nothing.

The study found that immune cells treated with the combination were twice as effective at ‘fighting’ away inflammation, compared to cells that only polyphenols were added. 

Researchers, whose work was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, said: ‘A combination of proteins and antioxidants doubles the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells.’

The findings suggest that coffee with milk has an anti-inflammatory effect, the researchers said.  

Milk is rich in proteins and contains all nine essential amino acids required by humans. 

Professor Marianne Nissen Lund, who led the study, said: ‘We show as a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its inhibitory effect on inflammation in immune cells is enhanced. 

‘As such, it is clearly imaginable that this cocktail could also have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans. 

‘We will now investigate further, initially in animals.’

Professor Lund added: ‘I can imagine that something similar happens in, for example, a meat dish with vegetables or a smoothie, if you make sure to add some protein like milk or yogurt.’

The new research joins a plethora of studies linking coffee to numerous health benefits, including general longevity, and less chance of depression or diabetes.  

Chemicals in coffee are believed to reduce inflammation, boost metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity.   

However, the research was performed in a laboratory environment, not the real world. 

The researchers will now investigate the effect on immune cells, initially on animals before studying humans.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk