Could consuming a cup of coffee be an effective way to protect against infection with the Coronavirus? What has not yet been proven in practice is at least plausible from the point of view of chemical and biochemical research. This is the conclusion reached – appropriately enough – by a research team from Jacobs University Bremen.
The team led by chemists Nikolai Kuhnert, Dorothea Schmidt, and Nicholas Ohl was able to show experimentally – i.e., in the laboratory – that the chemical compound 5-caffeoylquinic acid (trivial name chlorogenic acid), which is found in coffee, inhibits the interaction between the SARS CoV-2 spike protein of the Coronavirus and the ACE-2 receptor, the docking site for the virus on the human cell.
Further studies needed
A regular cup of filter coffee – in the laboratory setting, it comprises exactly 200 milliliters – contains about 100 milligrams of 5-caffeoylquinic acid. Experiments in the laboratory showed that 5-caffeoylquinic acid at this concentration is high enough to inhibit the docking of the spike protein to the ACE-2 receptor – and thus also the infection process. Further studies are needed to prove this process in practice and, therefore, in our daily lives.
Further research is also needed to determine how long the inhibitory effect of 5-caffeoylquinic acid lasts. “As chemists, we can’t answer for practical purposes whether drinking coffee could be a preventive measure to protect against infection. But we can say it’s plausible,” Kuhnert said. “That coffee also has other positive effects is well established,” says the chemist. For example, he says that regular coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer from type II diabetes, and the scientific evidence for this is excellent.
In the next step, the findings on the interaction between coffee and the Coronavirus will now be passed on to researchers in psychology as well as a social science: “Epidemiological studies could determine, for example, whether regular coffee drinkers are more or less likely to become infected with Corona,” Kuhnert said. The connection and potential impact of Long Covid will also be looked at.
- source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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