Coffee & Antioxidants Revisited?

October 12, 2005

In response to some of the news reports that I quoted awhile back regarding coffee and antioxidants, someone was kind enough to send a link to this article.

There are two reasons why this is so misleading. The first is that in analyzing the antioxidant content of coffee, Professor Vinson included antioxidants which are √¢‚Ǩ≈ìhidden in sugar molecules.√¢‚Ǩ¬ù Sugar molecules? If you dig deep enough into the rash of articles about this great √¢‚Ǩ≈ìscientific breakthrough√¢‚Ǩ¬ù you’ll discover that Vinson himself admits that √¢‚Ǩ≈ìmost of the antioxidants√¢‚Ǩ¬ù in coffee are indeed √¢‚Ǩ≈ìhidden in sugar molecules.√¢‚Ǩ¬ù

Ok, so if you don’t dump a bunch of sugar and milk into your coffee you won’t be getting much, if any antioxidants.

But, let’s not quibble, as this is only minor compared to the really big deception. Let me explain by examining another food item, say, blueberries. By volume or by weight, blueberries have at least a thousand times more antioxidants than coffee.

Why do people get more antioxidants from coffee than blueberries? Well, over the course of year or so, the average American will drink approximately 45 gallons of coffee and eat approximately one pint of blueberries. So when you add this up, the average American gets more antioxidants from coffee than blueberries. Obviously, coffee is much better for you than blueberries!

To which I have the following reactions…
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Coffee largest antioxidant source

August 29, 2005

A report on yet another study showing health benefits from coffee…

Coffee – caffeinated and decaffeinated – emerged as easily the biggest source of antioxidants, taking account of the amount per serving and level of consumption. Black tea came second, followed by bananas.

“Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source – nothing else comes close,” said study leader Professor Joe Vinson, from Scranton University in Pennsylvania. He was presenting his findings at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Washington DC.

The findings in the US probably reflect a similar trend in the UK, where people drink about 70 million cups of coffee each day. Antioxidants help to rid the body of harmful free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells and DNA. They have been linked to health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

Via The Green Coffee Cooperative forum.