Coffee leaves: An upcoming novel food?
Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel
Unlike those of coffee beans, the healthy properties of coffee leaves have been overlooked for a long time, even if they are consumed as a beverage by local communities of several African countries. Due to the presence of xanthines, diterpenes, xanthones, and several other polyphenol derivatives as main secondary metabolites, coffee leaves might be useful to prevent many daily disorders. At the same time, as for all bioactive molecules, careless use of coffee leaf infusions may be unsafe due to their adverse effects, such as the excessive stimulant effects on the central nervous system or their interactions with other concomitantly administered drugs. Moreover, the presence of some toxic diterpene derivatives requires careful analytical controls on manufactured products made with coffee leaves. Accordingly, knowledge about the properties of coffee leaves needs to be increased to know if they might be considered a good source for producing new supplements. The purpose of the present review is to highlight the biosynthesis, metabolism, and distribution of the 4 main classes of secondary metabolites present in coffee leaves, their main pharmacological and toxicological aspects, and their main roles in planta. Differences in coffee leaf chemical composition depending on the coffee species will also be carefully considered.