Kefircoffee is a Functional Beverage
Coffee, one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, has captured the interest of researchers and health enthusiasts alike. With over a thousand compounds present, including polyphenols, melanoidins, diterpenes, caffeine, and antioxidants, coffee offers a complex blend of bioactive components that have been the subject of extensive scientific exploration. The health benefits of coffee have been a topic of growing interest, with numerous studies suggesting that moderate coffee consumption can have favorable effects on various aspects of health.
In recent years, the concept of functional beverages has gained traction, leading to the emergence of innovative coffee products such as kefircoffee. Kefircoffee combines the rich and aromatic qualities of coffee with the health-promoting properties of kefir, a fermented milk beverage that is rich in probiotics. This fusion of two beverages creates a functional beverage that offers potential synergistic health benefits.
Kefir, a centuries-old fermented milk drink, is known for its probiotic content. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome and support various aspects of health, including digestion, immune function, and even mental well-being. By incorporating kefir into coffee, the beverage gains the potential to enhance gut health and provide additional health benefits beyond traditional coffee consumption.
Probiotic coffees, like kefircoffee, have gained attention due to their potential to combine the taste and aroma of coffee with the beneficial effects of probiotics. As non-dairy probiotic foods and functional beverages become more mainstream amid health and wellness trends, opportunities arise for coffees fortified with probiotics. While the concept of probiotic coffees is relatively new, it represents an exciting development in the beverage industry, aligning with the increasing interest in gut health and functional food products.
Coffee itself, even without the addition of kefir, offers a multitude of health benefits. Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Coffee’s bioactive components, including antioxidants and polyphenols, contribute to these potential health benefits. Furthermore, caffeine, the primary stimulant in coffee, can increase alertness, boost metabolism, and aid in fat loss.
In this exploration of coffee and its bioactive components, including antioxidants and the functional aspect of kefircoffee, we aim to shed light on the latest research findings, delve into their mechanisms of action, and offer a comprehensive overview of the potential health benefits and considerations associated with coffee consumption. So grab a cup of coffee, whether it’s traditional coffee or a functional kefircoffee, and join us on this journey to uncover the secrets behind the world’s beloved beverage and its evolving role in promoting health and well-being.
Coffee is usually identified as a stimulant because of its high content of caffeine. However, caffeine is not the only coffee bioactive component. The coffee beverage is a mixture of many bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, especially chlorogenic acids (in green beans) and caffeic acid (in roasted coffee beans), alkaloids (caffeine and trigonelline), and the diterpenes (cafestol and kahweol).
Extensive research shows that coffee consumption has beneficial effects on human health. Regular coffee intake may protect from many chronic disorders, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer. Coffee consumption is linked to a decreased risk of developing some neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
Regular coffee intake also reduces the risk of stroke. The mechanism underlying these effects is still being studied. Epidemiological studies and clinical reports have shown, the potential molecular mechanism(s) by which coffee’s bioactive components may provide neuroprotection and extensive health benefits. So we are going to deconstruct the top 5 compounds found in coffee, these are
- Chlorogenic acids (CGAs)
As mentioned above Coffee’s top 5 bioactive components include Chlorogenic acids (CGAs), Caffeine, Trigonelline, Melanoidins, Diterpenes, and other secondary metabolites.
During roasting, coffee metabolites undergo complex Maillard reactions, producing melanoidins. Coffee is a primary source of polyphenols in our diet, and these antioxidant compounds exert beneficial anti-inflammatory effects in most people.
To understand the relationship between coffee and human health, and to effectively use the active ingredients, it is not essential to understand the sources of coffee’s bioactive ingredients and their mechanisms of action in the human body or the sources of coffee’s active ingredients and the mechanisms of action and their combined effects on common human diseases like the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and antibacterial, anti-diabetic, neuroprotection, and anti-cancer activities. All you have to do is enjoy a really good quality coffee, however, you like it or whatever brand.
1. Chlorogenic acids (CGAs)
Coffee is the main source of antioxidant compounds in the diet of many populations worldwide mainly due to the high concentration of CGA and lactones in the brew associated with its high consumption.
Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are a group of antioxidant compounds found in coffee. They are primarily known for their role in the bitterness of coffee, as they undergo decomposition into phenolic compounds during the roasting process. Coffee is a major dietary source of CGAs, and they contribute to many of its health benefits.
CGAs have been extensively studied for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They have the ability to scavenge free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to various diseases. By neutralising free radicals, CGAs help reduce oxidative stress and protect against cellular damage.
The antioxidant properties of CGAs have been linked to a lower risk of developing chronic diseases. Numerous studies have suggested that regular coffee consumption, which provides a significant amount of CGAs, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Moreover, CGAs have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation is a common underlying factor in many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. By reducing inflammation, CGAs may help prevent or manage these conditions.
Furthermore, CGAs have been investigated for their potential effects on weight management and glucose metabolism. Some studies have suggested that CGAs may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for individuals with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.
It’s important to note that the specific effects of CGAs may vary depending on factors such as the type of bean, degree of roasting, brewing method, and individual differences in metabolism. Nonetheless, the overall evidence suggests that CGAs play a significant role in the health benefits associated with coffee consumption.
It’s worth mentioning that while coffee is a rich source of CGAs, they are also found in other foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Therefore, a well-rounded and balanced diet that includes a variety of these foods can contribute to the intake of CGAs and other beneficial compounds.
As always, it’s important to consume coffee and any other food or beverage in moderation and consider individual factors and health conditions. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalised recommendations based on specific needs and goals.
Absorption of caffeine in the body can take 15 to 45 minutes, partly due to caffeine being amphiphilic, because it can move freely through all membranes of the body. This feature gives caffeine the ability to pass quickly through the blood-brain barrier, where it goes to work fast.
Caffeine is often referred to as a stimulant. It is classified as a methylxanthine and is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it acts on the brain and spinal cord to increase alertness and attention.
One of the primary effects of caffeine is its ability to block adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleepiness. By binding to adenosine receptors, caffeine prevents adenosine from exerting its calming effects, leading to increased neuronal activity and a sense of wakefulness.
Caffeine’s effects on the body can be felt within minutes after consumption and can last for several hours. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and can cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to act on the central nervous system.
In addition to its stimulant properties, caffeine has been studied for its potential role in weight management and fat loss. It is one of the few natural substances that has been shown to aid in fat burning. Caffeine has thermogenic properties, meaning it can increase the body’s metabolic rate and promote the burning of calories.
When consumed in a fasting state, such as in the morning before breakfast, caffeine can enhance fat oxidation, which is the process of breaking down stored fat for energy. By increasing the activity or energy in the system, caffeine stimulates the release of fatty acids from fat cells, allowing them to be used as a fuel source.
It’s important to note that while caffeine can have these effects, its impact on weight management and fat loss may vary among individuals. Factors such as overall diet, physical activity level, and individual metabolism can influence the extent to which caffeine contributes to weight management efforts.
Additionally, it’s essential to consume caffeine in moderation and be mindful of any potential side effects or sensitivities. Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to increased heart rate, jitteriness, anxiety, and disrupted sleep. Individual tolerance levels for caffeine can vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust intake accordingly.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that coffee contains other bioactive compounds in addition to caffeine, such as chlorogenic acids and polyphenols, which may also contribute to its potential health benefits. These compounds, along with caffeine, make coffee a complex beverage with a wide range of effects on the body.
Trigonelline is a bioactive compound found in coffee that has garnered attention for its potential health benefits. Over the last few decades, extensive research has been conducted to explore the effects of trigonelline on various aspects of health.
One notable area of study is the anti-diabetic effect of trigonelline. Research has shown that trigonelline can help regulate insulin secretion, improve glucose tolerance, and enhance insulin sensitivity. These effects are particularly beneficial for individuals with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Trigonelline has been found to have a positive impact on glucose metabolism, making it a potential natural remedy for managing blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, trigonelline has been investigated for its neuroprotective properties. Studies have shown that trigonelline exhibits neuroprotective effects, making it potentially beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It has been found to help protect brain cells from damage and improve cognitive function.
In addition to its effects on diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, trigonelline has also demonstrated other potential health benefits. It has been shown to have cardio-protective properties, including the ability to improve lipid profile by reducing triglyceride levels and increasing levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trigonelline has also exhibited antimicrobial activity, inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria.
Trigonelline’s mechanisms of action are still being studied, but it is believed to exert its effects through multiple pathways. It may act on various molecular targets in the body, including receptors and enzymes involved in metabolic processes and cellular function.
The levels of trigonelline in coffee can vary depending on factors such as the type of coffee bean and the brewing method. Generally, plasma levels of trigonelline increase after coffee consumption, indicating that it is absorbed by the body. However, further research is needed to fully understand its bioavailability and how it is metabolized.
Trigonelline shows promise for various health benefits, more research is needed to establish its full therapeutic potential and optimal dosage. As with any dietary component, it’s recommended to consume trigonelline-containing foods, such as coffee, as part of a balanced diet and in moderation.
Melanoidins are a group of complex compounds that are formed during the roasting process of coffee beans. They contribute to the characteristic brown color of coffee and are responsible for its rich and robust flavor.
One notable aspect of melanoidins is their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body against oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and the body’s antioxidant defences. Melanoidins have been found to exhibit strong antioxidant activity, effectively scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative damage to cells.
The antioxidant properties of melanoidins have been associated with several health benefits. Research suggests that they may have anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a key factor in the development of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. By reducing inflammation, melanoidins may contribute to the prevention and management of these conditions.
Melanoidins have been shown to possess antimicrobial properties. They can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, which is associated with dental caries. Melanoidins promote selective bacterial growth in the colon, which can have positive effects on gut health and contribute to a balanced microbiota.
In addition, melanoidins have been found to have anti-glycation effects. Glycation is a process in which sugar molecules bind to proteins, leading to the formation of harmful advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs are associated with various age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. By inhibiting the formation of AGEs, melanoidins may help protect against these conditions.
From a nutritional standpoint, melanoidins are considered a source of dietary fiber. They can contribute to the overall fibre content of the diet, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion and promoting satiety.
It’s worth noting that the specific composition and properties of melanoidins can vary depending on the roasting process and other factors. Therefore, the health effects attributed to melanoidins may differ between different coffee varieties and preparations.
While melanoidins contribute to the potential health benefits of coffee, it’s important to consume coffee in moderation and be mindful of individual sensitivities or health conditions. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalised recommendations based on specific needs and goals.
Overall, melanoidins add to the complexity of coffee’s bioactive compounds and contribute to its potential health-promoting effects.
Diterpenes are a group of bioactive compounds found in coffee, and two prominent diterpenes found in coffee are cafestol and kahweol. These compounds are primarily present in the oily fraction of coffee, which is retained in unfiltered coffee preparations such as espresso, Turkish coffee, and French press coffee. In filtered coffee, the diterpenes are largely removed through the filtration process.
Cafestol and kahweol have been the subject of research due to their potential health effects, as well as some potential concerns. On the positive side, both compounds have been found to possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. They have shown potential in inhibiting the growth of certain cancer cells and reducing markers of inflammation in the body.
Additionally, cafestol and kahweol have been associated with beneficial effects on liver health. Research suggests that these compounds may help protect against liver damage and have a positive impact on liver function. They have been found to reduce markers of liver inflammation and improve liver enzyme levels in animal and cell studies.
However, it’s important to note that cafestol and kahweol can also impact cholesterol levels. These diterpenes have been shown to increase cholesterol levels, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. This effect appears to be more pronounced in individuals who are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol levels.
It’s worth mentioning that the impact of cafestol and kahweol on cholesterol levels can be mitigated by using filtered coffee preparations or consuming decaffeinated coffee. Filtered coffee methods, such as drip brewing or using paper filters, significantly reduce the levels of these compounds. Decaffeinated coffee also contains lower amounts of cafestol and kahweol compared to regular coffee.
It’s important to consider individual factors, such as overall health, cholesterol levels, and genetic predispositions when evaluating the potential effects of cafestol and kahweol. For individuals with pre-existing high cholesterol levels or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, it may be advisable to moderate the intake of unfiltered coffee preparations or choose filtered or decaffeinated coffee options.
Moderation is key when consuming coffee and its associated compounds. It’s also important to maintain a balanced and varied diet that includes a wide range of nutrient-rich foods to support overall health.
It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised recommendations, especially for individuals with specific health concerns or conditions related to cholesterol or cardiovascular health. They can provide guidance tailored to individual needs and help incorporate coffee into a well-rounded diet.
In summary, these five compounds found in coffee—chlorogenic acids (CGAs), caffeine, trigonelline, melanoidins, and diterpenes—contribute to the potential health benefits associated with coffee consumption.
- Chlorogenic acids (CGAs): These polyphenolic compounds are involved in the bitterness of coffee and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They have been linked to a lower incidence of various degenerative and non-degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Caffeine: Known for its stimulant properties, caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant and can increase alertness and cognitive performance. It is also an antioxidant and has been associated with potential fat-burning and metabolism-boosting effects.
- Trigonelline: Trigonelline has been studied for its anti-diabetic and neuroprotective effects. It may help regulate insulin secretion, reduce oxidative stress, and improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Trigonelline also exhibits antimicrobial properties and has been investigated for its potential benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and depression.
- Melanoidins: These compounds are formed during the roasting process of coffee beans and possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Melanoidins have been associated with protective effects against colon cancer, inhibition of bacterial growth, and promotion of selective bacterial growth in the colon.
- Diterpenes: Specifically, cafestol and kahweol are two diterpenes found in coffee. These compounds have shown both beneficial and potentially harmful effects. They exhibit anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, but they can also increase cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol. The impact on cholesterol levels can be mitigated by choosing filtered or decaffeinated coffee options.
These compounds collectively contribute to the potential health benefits of coffee consumption, such as reduced risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The specific health effects and optimal dosage of these compounds in coffee may vary depending on individual factors and consumption patterns. It is advisable to consume coffee in moderation and consider personalized recommendations from healthcare professionals or registered dietitians.
What is Kefir
Originating in the Caucasus mountains, Kefir has been a trusted dietary staple for over 2,000 years. The word “Kefir” means ‘feel good”, a naturally fermented food made with billions of live cultures, people of the Caucasus region are renowned for their longevity, with one of the highest proportions of centenarians in the world. Kefir is a dietary staple in this region. Most of these incredible people are mentally and physically strong with a normal heart rate and blood pressure. They seem resistant, if not immune, from many age-related health issues suffered by so many elderly people worldwide.
Several scientific studies have supported the health benefits of kefir, as a probiotic drink with great potential in health promotion, as well as being a safe and inexpensive food. Kefir grains are a type of SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, it’s this colony that forms the kefir grains. It’s very difficult to produce new grains, most grains are acquired from an established colony. Kefir grains can be reused indefinitely. Kefir grains are very robust and will thrive under ideal conditions and survive under adverse conditions. Kefir grains can only be damaged by extreme heat above +85 degrees temperature. Temperatures between 65 – 85 degrees are ideal for Kefir grains.
The health benefits of kefir are not just for digestion, they influence other parts of your body, including your immune system, heart, and inflammation. The effects of kefir are not always immediate, and drinking one glass of kefir will not solve your problems.
High in nutrients and probiotics, it is very beneficial for digestion and gut health. Studies show that kefir can improve health when people drink it regularly (usually daily for 2–4 weeks).
Milk Kefir is a good source of probiotics, these are good bacteria that live on the lining of the intestines and are responsible for important tasks such as immune support, crowding out bad bacteria, and improving digestion and gut health, as well as many more things crucial to good health.
Water Kefir Grains (Image above), have a gel-like consistency. Water kefir is the result of the fermentation of sugar solution by kefir grain which contains lactic acid, acetic acid and yeasts, which produce important molecules such as a polypeptide, polysaccharide, organic acid, and other compounds. According to the previous findings about kefir and other fermented foods, water kefir can provide beneficial microorganisms and bioactive molecules. Kefir Water is a good source of natural antioxidants. Studies have shown the antioxidant activity of water kefir and suggest this activity is due to the presence of lactic acid, acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts in water kefirs with intracellular and extracellular metabolites existing in the water kafir. It contains kefiran, a polysaccharide associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s also loaded with B vitamins and tryptophan, which fend off stress and produce a calming effect. Probiotics found in kefir help protect us against infections. One of these probiotics is Lactobacillus kefir, a probiotic exclusive to kefir, Lactobacillus kefir can stop the growth and fight bad bacteria in the body, including E. coli, Helicobacter Pylori, and Salmonella.
Nutritional Composition of Kefir
The nutritional composition of kefir varies widely and is influenced by water composition, the origin and composition of the grains used, and the time/temperature of fermentation and storage conditions. The nutritional composition of kefir is:
Lactococcus lactis cremoris
Lactococcus lactis biovar
Only Organically Certified Kefir Grains are used to create KefirCoffee. Only top-quality “Fair Trade” coffee beans are used in the making of Kefir coffee.
KefirCoffee is a unique beverage that combines the fermentation benefits of kefir with the flavors and properties of coffee. Only organically certified kefir grains are used in the production of KefirCoffee, ensuring high-quality and natural fermentation.
During the fermentation process, coffee beans undergo a natural fermentation as part of the coffee-making process. The mucilage, which surrounds the coffee seed, contains sugars that are consumed by yeast and bacteria, initiating fermentation. Kefir, with its beneficial bacteria and yeasts, continues this fermentation process, resulting in extended shelf life, enhanced flavour notes, and improved final coffee profile.
The infusion of kefir into coffee before roasting creates a functional beverage with increased antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. By undergoing a second fermentation process with kefir, KefirCoffee potentially enhances the antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, and overall bioactivity of the beverage. This can contribute to its potential health benefits.
Moreover, the introduction of kefir during the fermentation process may also have an impact on the coffee’s antimicrobial potential. Kefir is known to contain various strains of bacteria and yeasts, some of which possess antimicrobial properties. The interaction between kefir and coffee during fermentation may enhance the antimicrobial properties of the final product, potentially providing additional benefits.
Additionally, the use of top-quality “Fair Trade” coffee beans ensures that ethical and sustainable practices are followed in the sourcing and production of the coffee used in KefirCoffee.
It’s important to note that while the fermentation process and the addition of kefir may provide potential benefits, the specific nutritional composition and health effects of KefirCoffee would depend on various factors, including the specific coffee beans used, the fermentation process, and the overall recipe formulation.
As with any food or beverage, it’s always recommended to consume KefirCoffee as part of a balanced and varied diet, and individual results and experiences may vary.