By Mark Kobzik

Staff Writer

Two of the oldest and most popular drinks ever made are now being fused together to make a heart healthy coffee. Glen Miller, professor of chemistry at UNH, has infused the heart healthy compound in wine, resveratrol, into a normal cup of coffee.

According to Miller, the coffee industry is a $40 billion a year business with 83 percent of Americans drinking about three cups of coffee a day. The Vera Roasting Company, started a few months ago by Miller, is looking to make a healthier coffee for all consumers.

“We ultimately are a coffee roaster, but we don’t want to be thought of as your dime a dozen coffee roaster,” Miller said. “We are infusing the coffee with resveratrol which means you are getting the heart health benefits associated with red wine.”

Red wine has been consumed for thousands of years and the compound found within it, resveratrol, is usually associated with “the French paradox.” This phenomenon is the relationship between the French who consume high amounts of saturated fats, but have a relatively low chance of getting coronary heart disease. Some attribute this paradox to the French diet, which consists of red wine.

“The reason is, is that after a lot of study, the link is highly attributed to red wine,” Miller said.

The largest indicator that resveratrol is a safe ingredient is the fact that red wine consumers have been ingesting it for thousands of years without any perceivable ill health benefits. According to Miller, it is just the opposite; resveratrol proves to help the heart. In a cup of Vera Roasting coffee, there is the same amount of resveratrol of that in a cup of wine. Miller said, “Thousands of years of human testing… It’s a safe compound.”

Drinking red wine all day is very unrealistic unless you are Tyrion from Game of Thrones. But, according to Miller, that is why coffee with the resveratrol infused into it can keep you functional and give you the heart health benefits.

“I’m a coffee drinker just like any other American, so why not derive the same heart benefits that I would if I was drinking red wine?” Miller said.

The health effects on the heart are not the only ways in which Vera Roasting Coffee can help with diets. Miller said, “In addition to heart health, it turns out that resveratrol also has anti-diabetic effects, neuro-protective effects, and there was a recent study suggesting that resveratrol would slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.”

The Mayo Clinic reported that, “Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots… Most research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people.”

The report concluded that a human being would have to consume 1,000 liters of wine a day to benefit from the same effects as the mice who have been tested. The report also said, “It’s also important to know that resveratrol’s effects only last a short time after drinking red wine, so its effects may not last in the long term.”

Vera Roasting Coffee can be found online for $14.95 a bag, but with a UNH discount, you can get $6.50 off. According to Professor Miller, normal coffee does not have any known ill effects on the heart, and that Vera Roasting provides an extra health benefit that normal roasters do not.