MILAN – A study has revealed that drinking one or more cups of coffee per day was associated with about a 10 per cent decrease in risk of Covid-19, compared to less than one cup daily. The study, led by researchers from Northwestern University in the US, also found that the consumption of more vegetables, and less processed meats, could cut the risk of Covid infection.
Coffee is known to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
“Coffee consumption favourably correlates with inflammatory biomarkers such as CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumour necrosis factor I (TNF-I), which are also associated with Covid-19 severity and mortality,” said the study published in the journal Nutrients.
“Coffee consumption has also been associated with lower risk of pneumonia in elderly. Taken together, an immunoprotective effect of coffee against Covid-19 is plausible and merits further investigation,” it added.
For the study, the team analysed the records of 40,000 British adults in the UK Biobank. They looked at the link between diet factors including daily intake of coffee, tea, oily fish, processed meat, red meat, fruit, and vegetables, and Covid.
They found that consumption of at least 0.67 servings/d of vegetables (cooked or raw, excluding potatoes) was associated with a lower risk of Covid-19 infection.
Processed meat consumption of as little as 0.43 servings/d was associated with a higher risk of Covid-19. However red meat consumption presented no risk, suggesting meat per se does not underlie the association observed with processed meats.
“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 behaviours (eg, 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,” said the researchers.
“Although these findings warrant independent confirmation, adherence to certain dietary behaviors may be an additional tool to existing Covid-19 protection guidelines to limit the spread of this virus,” they added.