A cup of coffee a day keeps Covid-19 away?

A cup of coffee (file pic).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 18: Drinking at least one cup of coffee a day is effective in reducing one’s chances of contracting Covid-19, according to a study.

Researchers with Northwestern University, in Nutrients, a peer reviewed journal of human nutrition dated June 20, 2021, revealed that habitual consumption of one or more cups of coffee a day can lower the risk of Covid-19 infection by nearly 10 per cent, compared to having less than one cup daily or none at all.

The team observed 90 to 92 per cent Covid-19 positivity rate in individuals who consumed one or more cups of coffee every day as opposed to those who drank less or none, which leaves about 10 per cent chances of not getting infected.

“The odds of Covid-19 positivity were 0.90, 0.90 and 0.92 when consuming 1 cup, 2-3 cups, and 4+ cups of coffee per day (vs. <1 cup/day), respectively,” said the researchers.

As to the ‘why’, the study noted coffee does not only provides caffeine, but also contributes dozens of other constituents implicated in body immunity such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in which some are helpful in killing the coronavirus.

“Coffee consumption favorably correlates with inflammatory biomarkers such as CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), which are also associated with Covid-19 severity and mortality,” the study read.

The results of the study came after the researchers analysed records of 37,988 eligible adults in the UK Biobank (UKB), which is an international health resource of over 500,000 participants aged 37 to 73-years-old at 22 centres across England, Wales and Scotland.

Using data from the UKB, the research team examined the associations between dietary behaviours measured from 2006 to 2010 and incident Covid-19 infection in 2020, additionally linking UKB geographical data to UK Covid-19 surveillance data to account for Covid-19 exposure.

Coffee was identified for consideration in the study as it is one of the contributing nutritional factors to immunity, other than tea, vegetables, fruit, oily fish, processed meat and red meat.

In the same study, it was also observed that consuming less processed meat and more vegetables could cut down the chance of getting infected by Covid-19, where researchers inferred that consumption of at least 0.67 servings of vegetables per day can help.

Noting that the study does not represent all and has its own limitations, study authors wrote: “Our results support the hypothesis that nutritional factors may influence distinct aspects of the immune system, hence susceptibility to Covid-19.”

“Encouraging adherence to certain nutritional behaviors, for example increasing vegetable intake and reducing processed meat intake, may be an additional tool to existing Covid-19 protection guidelines to limit the spread of this virus. Nevertheless, our findings warrant confirmation in other populations,” it added.

Reducing meat intake and eating more greens can definitely boost your immune system to protect itself against viruses including Covid-19.

But have you had your cup of coffee today? — DayakDaily