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Protective Effects against Asthma

People sitting in a coffee bar.

I was just having my first cup of coffee in the morning, when an article on popped up in my feed reader. As an asthmatic and coffee enthusiast it naturally caught my attention.

It reports about a study by medical professionals from Korea’s Hallym University, Hanyang University, and Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, with research finding that moderate coffee consumption can lower the frequency of symptoms associated with asthma.

«One explanation proffered for the phenomena is the presence of Methylxanthines in coffee. Methylxanthines are a group of naturally occurring compounds that can be found in coffee, tea, and chocolate that act as weak bronchodilators, providing ‹protective effects against asthma.› Caffeine is a Methylxanthine, but is not the only one present in coffee. In essence, coffee acts as a very, very low dose asthma inhaler.»

As might be expected from this quote, the effects of coffee would not be useful in treating an asthma attack— coffee is more preventative than treatment. But in addition, «caffeine has several therapeutic effects that also reduces respiratory muscle fatigue». So all in all, good news, don’t you think?

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