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Drink up, because dark-roast coffee protects your DNA from damage

Drink up, because dark-roast coffee protects your DNA from damage
[Photo: rawpixel/Unsplash]

If you have considered giving up coffee for your health, here’s a counterargument: don’t. A new study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition (it’s probably behind the counter at your local newsstand), shows that drinking dark coffee protects your DNA from breaking. Yes, that means I’m immortal now.

To find these results, they had a brave group of test subjects swap coffee for water for an entire month (their painful contribution to science is appreciated) and then they were asked to drink 500 milliliters of freshly brewed dark=roast coffee per day, while the control group continued to consume water instead. On the last day of each period, their blood was tested to assess the level of DNA damage (strand breakage). The researchers found that the group who was allowed to drink a nice cup of joe had fewer DNA strand breaks compared to the control group.

This led the scientists to believe that regular consumption of a dark-roast coffee has “a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both men and women.” Coffee is better than water, according to science. (Please don’t stop drinking water.)

This isn’t the first study to prove that coffee drinking is good for you (deal with it, tea sippers). In fact, many of the study’s authors have been working on the topic for years, and time and again dark coffee has proven to protect DNA. For instance, there was a study in 2016 documenting health benefits, and another study in 2015, also published in the European Journal of Nutrition, that found that people who drink three cups of dark-roast coffee blend daily had 27% fewer DNA strand breaks in their white blood cells than water drinkers after only a month.

Lest you think this team of researchers are secret agents of Mr. Coffee, an earlier study, published in the 2011 issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, found that chugging 750 milliliters reduced naturally occurring DNA breakage by one-third, and that reduction continued several hours later.

In short: The next time someone smugly tells you that they no longer drink coffee for their health, you can equally smugly send them this article.

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