1 to 2 Cups of Coffee May Inhibit COVID Infection: Study

That morning cup of Joe may do more than perk you up for the day; it could protect against infection from different COVID variants.

New research reveals that coffee, enjoyed worldwide for its signature fragrance and flavor, may fend off illness by preventing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from attaching to cells.

Coffee—Regardless of Brew—Lowers Risk

Previous research shows that a diet rich in polyphenols (compounds in plants with antioxidant properties) may boost immune function and reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms. A recent study published in Cell & Bioscience went further and examined whether drinking coffee, which contains polyphenols, could also reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Researchers conducted lab testing of human cells and a trial with 64 participants infected with a SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-virus.

The lab tests found that coffee inhibited multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants by preventing viral binding to the ACE2 receptor on cells and reducing the activity of proteins linked to severe illness.

“Put simply, it kept the virus from getting the foothold needed to cause infection,” Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, a board-certified internist, an author, and the director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, told The Epoch Times. He wasn’t associated with the study.

In the human trial, one to two cups of coffee daily inhibited infection across variants, including delta and omicron. The effect was consistent for various coffee types, including ground, instant, caffeinated, and decaffeinated.

The authors suggested that coffee consumption could be an effective dietary strategy to prevent COVID-19.

Coffee Tied to Reduced Risk in Prior Study

The new study had human participants but adds to evidence from a much larger 2021 Northwestern University study.

Researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database, entailing the dietary behaviors of almost 38,000 people between 2006 and 2010 to determine whether their past diet affected their COVID-19 infection risk in 2020.

They found that drinking at least one cup of coffee per day was linked to a 10 percent lower risk of COVID-19 infection than lower daily coffee consumption.

Additionally, the study found that eating vegetables was also associated with lower infection risk; about 3/4 cup of non-potato vegetables daily appeared to be protective. However, researchers also discovered that less than half a daily serving of processed meat (but not red meat) increased the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Coffee’s Other Health Benefits

The following are three significant health benefits already associated with drinking coffee: “So this is more of the data that supports enjoying your coffee,” Dr. Teitelbaum said.

Easy but Powerful Ways to Boost Immunity

Though coffee may offer protection, there are more powerful ways to prevent COVID-19, according to Dr. Teitelbaum.
In households in which somebody gets the disease, only 1 in 6 other members will also catch it on average, though that rate was 2 in 5 for the higher for the more infectious omicron variant. Dr. Teitelbaum said low transmission rates in households show that immunity is far more important than viral exposure. In other words, it’s not the disease that matters as much as the health of the person exposed to it.

The following are three effective ways to easily boost the immune system:

1. Take Vitamins

Deficiencies in immunity-influencing vitamins A, C, D, and E and zinc can increase susceptibility to infections. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends a multivitamin plus elderberry and zinc supplements.
“These dramatically improved immunity,” he said.

2. Stay Hydrated

“The part of the immune system that initially fights COVID is like our navy,” Dr. Teitelbaum said. “It works poorly in dry dock.”
Research shows that dehydration can reduce disease-fighting capability. But don’t reach for sugar-sweetened drinks. “The amount of sugar in one can of soda or orange juice can decrease immune function by 30 percent for three hours,” Dr. Teitelbaum said.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Inadequate sleep substantially reduces our ability to fight illness. The optimal sleep duration is seven to eight hours nightly for most adults, nine to 10 for teenagers, and 10 or more for younger children.

Although coffee offers potential benefits, excessive coffee intake (more than four cups a day) can cause adverse effects such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and tremors. It’s important to moderate coffee consumption and avoid adding excessive sugar, as this increases obesity and diabetes risks.