The health and wellness industry goes back and forth a lot on the subject of coffee. Some days it sounds like coffee is a potent natural remedy that should be consumed daily, and other days it is portrayed as toxic sludge to be avoided at all cost.
One New Hampshire company, Vera Roasting Company, has recently taken a stand for the health benefits of coffee, and has gone one step further, with the addition of resveratrol, an antioxidant normally found in red wine. Resveratrol is found naturally in the skins of grapes, as well as in some other foods, such as blueberries.
The new product, called CoffVee, consists of coffee beans that are infused with resveratrol during the roasting process. This is an interesting idea, because even though it seems resveratrol is easily absorbed by the body, there have been questions over its bioavailability in humans. This new coffee claims to dial up the bioavailability of resveratrol, so that we can reap the benefits.
One cup of CoffVee is said to be equivalent to a glass of red wine in terms of the amount of antioxidants it contains. This is considered by some to be a big win. Red wine has been partially credited for the low heart disease rates in France, despite French diets being high in fat.
However, when you examine the science, there are a few holes in the theory. For example, there is evidence that saturated fat consumption, which is common in France, doesn’t cause heart disease. Also, the claim that resveratrol added to coffee will cut the risk of heart disease is likely an oversimplification. Here’s why…
Is resveratrol supplementation effective?
Many experts have questioned whether using resveratrol as an isolated supplement is even worthwhile.
A handful of studies have demonstrated that consuming resveratrol together with piperine (the active compound in black pepper) can increase the bioavailability of resveratrol. In contrast, other studies have shown that resveratrol is not as effective in humans as it is when tested in the lab.
Therefore, this new infused coffee product may turn out to be a fad that is not based on sound scientific evidence. However, this does not mean that resveratrol isn’t beneficial when found in its natural state.
Red wine and blueberries have been associated with significant health benefits, and this may be due in part to their resveratrol content. However, it may be the combination of antioxidants, and not the resveratrol alone, that leads to these benefits. More research still needs to be performed to determine exactly how these compounds interact and benefit the body.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants anyway
Before you get too disappointed, we want to point out that coffee is already loaded with a potent mix of antioxidants. Therefore, you can feel pretty good about sipping a high-quality, organic, fair-trade coffee — just skip the sugar!
—The Alternative Daily