Drinking coffee with milk may have added health benefits


Whether you prefer a cappuccino or a latte, many of us can't face the day without some caffeine.

So, here's some good news for those who can't get going without a cup of joe in the morning - researchers have reported that drinking coffee with milk may have an anti-inflammatory effect in humans.

Experts at the University of Copenhagen have claimed that a combination of proteins and antioxidants doubles the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells. Coffee beans are known to be filled with polyphenols, while milk is rich in proteins.

"In the study, we show that as a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its inhibitory effect on inflammation in immune cells is enhanced," explained Professor Marianne Nissen Lund. "As such, it is clearly imaginable that this cocktail could also have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans."

As part of the study, the researchers observed that immune cells treated with the combination of polyphenols and amino acids were twice as effective at fighting inflammation as the cells to which only polyphenols were 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 yoghurt," added Lund. "Because humans do not absorb that much polyphenol, many researchers are studying how to encapsulate polyphenols in protein structures which improve their absorption in the body. This strategy has the added advantage of enhancing the anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols."

Full study results have been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.