Do you love or loath coffee? If so, these Cork-based researchers need your help

Go on, you’ll be contributing to the greater good!

Coffee is the very first thought of the day for many people waking up all over the world. At APC Microbiome Ireland, a world leading SFI Research Centre headquartered in University College Cork (UCC) researchers are thinking about coffee all day every day. Dr Serena Boscaini and Nurse Caroline O’Leary are leading a study investigating how coffee consumption affects the brain and gut microbiota of healthy adults between 30 and 50 years-old.

Moderate coffee drinkers who drink three to five cups of coffee per day, living near and in Cork city are needed to take part in the study. This study involves four in person visits to University College Cork over approximately six weeks. APC researchers are also seeking non-coffee drinkers both in Cork and in the rest of Ireland. For non-coffee drinkers the study involves two visits to University College Cork, for those living outside Cork the first visit can be done online.

Caroline O’Leary and Dr Serena Boscaini

Dr Serena Boscaini, Postdoctoral Researcher at APC Microbiome Ireland says:

“It is known that coffee consumption has a positive effect on human health. In particular, moderate consumption of coffee is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver diseases, Type II diabetes, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

“This is not surprising since coffee contains several phytochemicals that are beneficial for human health, including different kinds of polyphenols. A large number of polyphenols are metabolized and modified by the microbes in our gut.

“It is also known that a number of microbes-derived molecules are affecting the health of other organs, such as the brain. To this end, this study aims to explore in detail what is the effect of coffee consumption on the gut microbiota, stress and cognition.

“At the moment, the effect of coffee on the gut microbiota and on the communication pathways between the brain and the gut is still largely unexplored.”

Caroline O’Leary, Clinical Research Nurse at APC Microbiome Ireland says:

“People are incredibly passionate about coffee and we believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for coffee lovers, and haters, to play an important part in research that will tell us more about how coffee benefits our microbes and our brain.”

To find out more please email Caroline O’Leary at or Dr. Serena Boscaini at or visit

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