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Does a coffee a day keep the doctor away? Investigating the impact of coffee on cardiometabolic health


   Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

  , ,  Friday, March 03, 2023  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Coffee is an extremely popular beverage worldwide; 95 million cups per day are consumed in the UK alone. Historically, there has been debate about the health impacts of consuming coffee, however recent findings from observational studies have provided evidence that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day is protective against cardiometabolic diseases. These studies, however, do not prove causality; randomised controlled trials are needed.

Coffee is a chemically complex beverage and contains many different bioactive component (e.g. polyphenols, alkaloids, melanoidins, diterpenes), which are likely to differ depending on how the coffee is consumed; this makes it hard to fully understand what is driving these health effects. Identifying biomarkers of different coffee consumption would contribute towards understanding the health effects. This complexity is exasperated by the observation of large inter-individual variation in response to coffee; some individuals seem to have marked health responses, whereas others do not. It is not clear what is driving this, although it is possible that it is a combination of genetic polymorphisms and gut microbiota composition.

The objective of this project is to understand the impact of coffee consumption on cardiometabolic health.

In this project the student will:

1) Analyse a variety of coffee prepared by different methods for bioactive compound content

2) Perform a randomised controlled trial to test the impact of coffee on cardiometabolic health

3) Investigate the inter-individual variation in response to coffee on cardiometabolic health

4) Identify biomarkers of coffee consumption and to predict cardiometabolic disease risk


Funding Notes

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in nutrition, health and food sciences or broadly related subject (e.g. life sciences, biochemistry or biomedical sciences). Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK applicants.

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