A cup of coffee a day can do more than just keeping you alert while working from home during the pandemic. It may help reduce your risk of Co vid-19 infection. According to a new study, 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.
Led by researchers from the Northwestern University in the US, the study also suggested that eating more vegetables, and less processed meats, could reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection. The study results were published in the journal Nutrients.
Coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and the new study suggested that coffee consumption has positive effects on inflammatory biomarkers such as CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumour necrosis factor I (TNF-I), which are also linked to Covid-19 severity and mortality. Further, drinking coffee has 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," the authors noted.
Adherence to certain dietary behaviors may help limit spread of covid-19
The researchers analysed the records of 40,000 British adults in the UK Biobank to study the link between diet and Covid-19. They looked at the participants' daily intake of coffee, tea, oily fish, processed meat, red meat, fruit, and vegetables. Here are the key findings:
Consumption of at least 0.67 servings/day of vegetables (cooked or raw, excluding potatoes) was associated with a lower risk of Covid-19 infection.
Consumption of processed meat as little as 0.43 servings/day was associated with a higher risk of Covid-19. However, red meat consumption presented no risk, suggesting meat in itself may not increase the risk.
The study supports the hypothesis that nutritional factors may influence distinct aspects of the immune system, hence susceptibility to Covid-19, the researchers said. They suggested that adherence to certain dietary behaviors like increasing vegetable intake and reducing processed meat intake may be an additional tool to existing Covid-19 protection guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus.