Impact of paper filtered coffee on oxidative DNA-damage: results of a clinical trial

Mutat Res. 2010 Oct 13;692(1-2):42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Aug 13.


Coffee is among the most frequently consumed beverages worldwide and epidemiological studies indicate that its consumption is inversely related to the incidence of diseases in which reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved (liver cirrhosis, certain forms of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders). It has been postulated that antioxidant properties of coffee may account for this phenomenon. To find out if consumption of paper filtered coffee which is the most widely consumed form in Central Europe and the US protects humans against oxidative DNA-damage, a controlled intervention trial with a cross-over design was conducted in which the participants (n=38) consumed 800ml coffee or water daily over 5 days. DNA-damage was measured in peripheral lymphocytes in single cell gel electrophoresis assays. The extent of DNA-migration attributable to formation of oxidised purines (formamidopyrimidine glycosylase sensitive sites) was decreased after coffee intake by 12.3% (p=0.006). Biochemical parameters of the redox status (malondialdehyde, 3-nitrotyrosine and the total antioxidant levels in plasma, glutathione concentrations in blood, intracellular ROS levels and the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in lymphocytes) were not markedly altered at the end of the trial, also the urinary 8-isoprostaglandine F2α concentrations were not affected. Overall, the results indicate that coffee consumption prevents endogenous formation of oxidative DNA-damage in human, this observation may be causally related to beneficial health effects of coffee seen in earlier studies.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Coffee*
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Female
  • Filtration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*


  • Antioxidants
  • Coffee