Do you take milk with your coffee?  If you do not, you might want to start.  A study out of the University of Copenhagen has shown that adding milk to your coffee can boost the body’s anti-inflammatory response.

Coffee is a source of polyphenols that is an antioxidant that interacts with amino acids (a component of proteins).  Cow’s milk contains amino acids.  Consuming a drink that contains both the polyphenols and amino acids, provides an environment for the two to react with one another. The result of this interaction is a minimizing effect of inflammation in our immune calls.  In fact, the research showed that when provided both polyphenols and amino acids at the same time, our cells were twice as effective in fighting inflammation as compared to cells that only received polyphenols.

Inflammation is the body’s natural defence against foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.  Inflammation can occur when muscles and tendons are overused but also when a person is struggling with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis making the pain and impact of the disease worse.  Chronic inflammation is related to a variety of health conditions including MS, diabetes, and arthritis.

The effects of these findings might not be limited to Coffee and Milk. Combining other foods that contain polyphenols and amino acids could result in the same benefits. Foods that contain polyphenols include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lectin-free cereal grains (millet)
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Wine

Therefore, the study suggests that pairing any of these foods with a protein-based food could give you an enhanced anti-inflammatory reaction.