If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you could be ensuring the integrity of your DNA, according to the results of a new German study.
The research found that those who drank three cups of a dark roast coffee blend per day experienced 27 percent fewer DNA strand breaks in their white blood cells than those who drank water instead.
Previous research has shown that coffee consumption can decrease the instances of oxidative damage in our white blood cells. This damage is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species called ‘free radicals’ – atoms, molecules, or ions that end up with one or more unpaired electrons, which makes them highly reactive with other cellular structures – and the cell’s ability to counteract their harmful effects.
If left unregulated, free radicals can damage all of the components of a cell, including its proteins, lipids, and DNA. When our DNA is damaged, the body isn’t always able to repair it, or isn’t capable of repairing it properly, which can lead to compromised function, or mutations. If serious enough, the mutations can develop into cancer, and the lack of function will result in accelerated cellular aging.