Coffee is a popular crop, although it is rather wasteful, as only the bean is used commercially, while the husk and silverskin that cover the seed are discarded. Finding alternative uses for what are currently waste products would go a long way to reduce waste and could have other benefits.
University of Illinois researchers have been looking for useful byproducts in the husks and silverskin. They were able to extract a number of chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties to see if they would be effective in reducing obesity-related inflammation which is a serious health concern. The researchers grew fat cells and macrophages (which play a role in inflammation) in the laboratory, and then treated them with the extracted chemicals. They observed that protocatechuic acid and gallic acid were able to stop fat accumulation in fat cells and decrease the secretion of inflammatory factors.
Because they can break the loop of fat accumulation by fat cells and associated increased inflammation these compounds may one day become possible therapeutics to help reduce obesity-related inflammation, and fight insulin resistance in obese patients. More research will be required to see if these compounds are able to help patients, rather than just cultured cells, but it is a promising discovery that warrants further investigation.
Source: Medical News Today
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