Chlorogenic acids are actually a family of esters formed between quinic acid and phenolic compounds known as cinnamic acids (2). The most abundant chlorogenic acid in coffee is 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid, an ester formed between quinic acid and caffeic acid (Figure 1). Coffee represents one of the richest dietary sources of chlorogenic acid. The chlorogenic acid content of a 200 ml (7-oz) cup of coffee has been reported to range from 70-350 mg, which would provide about 35-175 mg of caffeic acid. Although chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid have antioxidant activity in vitro (3), it is unclear how much antioxidant activity they contribute in vivo because they are extensively metabolized, and the metabolites often have lower antioxidant activity than the parent compounds (4).
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