Monday, October 5, 2009

The Inside Scoop on Coffee

"What's Inside a Cup of Coffee?"
Wired Magazine (September 21, 2009)

This is why the world produces more than 16 billion pounds of coffee beans per year. It's actually an alkaloid plant toxin (like nicotine and cocaine), a bug killer that stimulates us by blocking neuroreceptors for the sleep chemical adenosine. The result: you, awake.

"Hot H2O is a super solvent, leaching flavors and oils out of the coffee bean. A good cup of joe is 98.75 percent water and 1.25 percent soluble plant matter. Caffeine is a diuretic, so coffee newbies pee out the water quickly; java junkies build up resistance...."

"...3,5 Dicaffeoylquinic acid
"When scientists pretreat neurons with this acid in the lab, the cells are significantly (though not completely) protected from free-radical damage. Yup: Coffee is a good source of antioxidants...."

"...a good source of antioxidants..." - somehow, though, even though antioxidants are now what ultraviolet light and spinach were to earlier generations, I rather doubt that we'll see coffee in health food stores.

Still, stranger things have happened.

It's a pretty good look at the chemical components in coffee - and, in some cases, what they do when they start perking through our metabolism.

Pretty good article, I think.

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