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Coffee Drinking May Protect Against Viruses, Japanese Study Finds

Coffee extracts, caffeine and caffeic acid have a positive effect in the fight against poliomyelitis and the herpes virus HSV-1
Coffee extracts, caffeine and caffeic acid have a positive effect in the fight against poliomyelitis and the herpes virus HSV-1
 

According to a Japanese team, coffee extracts, caffeine and caffeic acid have a positive effect in the fight against poliomyelitis and the herpes virus HSV-1.

The work, conducted in a laboratory in vitro, has been published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry. And it of course remains to be seen to what extent these properties could be exercised in humans infected with any of these viruses.

In this study, the multiplication of herpes simplex virus HSV-1 has been significantly reduced by using extracts of coffee from very diverse geographical origins.

This effect was found with instant coffee at concentrations much lower than those found in a cup of regular coffee. Even decaffeinated coffee has antiviral activity similar to that of regular coffee.

About 70 to 80% of viral infectious could be inactivated with a dose corresponding to one-fifth of the normal concentration. Inactivation is rapid and occurs almost instantaneously after mixing virus with coffee extract particles.

Moreover, the presence of this antiviral activity suggests that it is not affected by the method of coffee preparation. Other studies on the polio virus have also shown that coffee extracts inhibits the virus multiplication.

The coffee activity against the replication of poliovirus and HSV-1 shows that its antiviral properties do not depend on how the virus replicates, say the authors. Caffeic acid has an inhibitory activity 10 times higher than caffeine against the multiplication of HSV-1. The polio virus and the flu are less sensitive to caffeine, though. The researchers believe that eventually other constituents of coffee yet unidentified must have a high antiviral activity.

 
 
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