Coffee Beans are one of the most traded food products in the world with around 500 billion of cups of coffee being consumed worldwide annually. Consequently, the impact of the drink on human health is of great interest. Coffea arabica, and Coffea canephora var. robusta are the most widely used and economically important species of coffee. The pleasant aroma, taste, and rich color of brewed coffee are a consequence of the roasting process that leads to profound changes in the chemical composition of coffee.
The roasted coffee beans are ground to a powder which is extracted with hot water, to produce what we know as “a cup of coffee”. In general, an arabica coffee brew is appreciated for its superior cup quality and aroma, whereas a robusta brew possesses a more aggressive harsher flavor and contains higher amounts of soluble solids, caffeine, and phenolic compounds. The main phenolic components in coffee are the chlorogenic acids (CGA) among which the caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs), 5-CQA, 3-CQA and 4-CQA dominate along with lower amounts of feruloylquinic acids and dicaffeoylquinic acids.
What is Chlorogenic Acid?
Chlorogenic Acid is a phytochemical found in coffee and coffee beans. It has been touted as being able to reduce blood sugar levels and potentially exert an anti-diabetic effect. It has also been implicated in weight loss and exerting an anti-obesity effect, but that is insofar correlation and not necessarily due to chlorogenic acid.
It can be beneficial to supplement, although doses found in food sources are enough for a long-term preventative (anti-diabetic) measure.
Chlorogenic acids, or CGAs, include a group of closely related chemicals that possess a similar molecular structure. The most abundant chlorogenic acid in coffee is 5-caffeoylquinic acid. Your body metabolizes chlorogenic acid into its component chemicals, quinic acid, and caffeic acid. Other CGAs in coffee include dicaffeoylquinic, feruloylquinic and coumaroylquinic acid. The relative concentrations of the various CGAs in coffee beans affect the flavor and aroma of coffee.
The concentration of the various chlorogenic acids in coffee varies, depending on the type of coffee beans, roasting, grinding, and preparation. Robusta coffee beans typically contain higher levels of CGAs than Arabica beans, which partially accounts for the difference in flavor between these two varieties of coffee beans. CGA levels in coffee beans decrease during roasting. Therefore, dark-roasted coffee contains a lower concentration of CGAs than light roasts. Finely ground coffee beans yield higher concentrations of CGAs than coarsely ground beans. The level of CGAs in coffee also tends to increase with its brewing temperature. A 7 oz. cup of coffee contains approximately 70 mg to 350 mg of chlorogenic acids.
Potential Antioxidants Effects
In laboratory experiments, chlorogenic acids demonstrate potent antioxidant effects, meaning they neutralize chemicals that can potentially damage your body tissues. Because CGAs rapidly break down in your body, however, biomedical scientists remain uncertain about the extent to which the antioxidant effects seen in the laboratory might affect human health. Despite a tremendous amount of media attention, evidence to support the role of antioxidants in chronic disease prevention remains weak.
There have been many health benefits attributed to a regular consumption of chlorogenic acid on a daily basis. One of the benefits that resulted in a test by Harvard University that consisted of more than 80,000 women, they found that the women who consumed a regular intake of coffee daily had less risk of gallstones. While drinking just one cup of coffee did not have any effect, consuming two cups of coffee daily cut the risk of gallbladder surgery by 9 percent; three cups of coffee cut the risk by 22 percent; and drinking four cups or more of coffee each day brought the risk down by 28 percent.
Another benefit of this acid has to do with the liver. Regular consumption of coffee cut down on several diseases of the liver including liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.
Green coffee bean extract has been found to contain 50 percent chlorogenic acid, which has added to its increased popularity recently. It has been found that green coffee bean extract, with its high levels of chlorogenic acid, has been found to inhibit glucose-6-phosphate which increases the amount of glucose that forms in your liver. In the long run, it could help lower your risk of diabetes.This acid has also been found to aid in weight loss. It was found that chlorogenic acid helps to slow down the body’s absorption of fat from your regular food intake. It also increases your metabolism, which also helps in the weight loss process. Regular coffee will just increase your metabolism; it is the green coffee bean extract that has all of the extra benefits.