A new study recently found that a cup of coffee in the morning not only lifts the spirits, but also protects against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers at the Dolan-Doklopil Brain Institute found that phenylindanes, a chemical breakdown product of chlorogenic acid lactones in roasted coffee, inhibits the growth of Tau proteins and beta amyloid plaques, two proteins associated with increased risk of two diseases in the brain.
Regular Caffeine Intake May Help Prevent Dementia
According to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Weekly, Dr. Donald Weaver, co-director of the Crumbill Brain Institute, noted that coffee consumption appears to be associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and they want to investigate what the cause is, what compounds are involved, and how it affects age-related cognitive decline.
Other studies have found that regular caffeine intake may help prevent dementia, AARP said. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, which looked at people aged 65 to 84, showed that people who drank one to two cups of coffee a day were less likely to have mild cognitive impairment than those who never drank coffee. The American Association of Retired Persons pointed out that similar studies have found that coffee can even prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Dark-roasted coffee is more protective than light-roasted coffee
However, Canadian researchers have ruled out caffeine as a source of brain protection because even decaffeinated roasted coffee is beneficial in preventing dementia. The team determined that phenyl lindane, obtained through roasted coffee, is a beneficial compound that inhibits the aggregation of Tau and beta amyloid proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
The researchers also found that dark-roasted coffee, which contains more phenyl lindane, was more protective than light-roasted coffee, and the next step in the study is to measure how these compounds get into the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier, and the good news is that phenyl lindane is a natural compound that has medicinal advantages over synthetic products. Dr. Weaver said that before coffee can be used to treat Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, more research is needed.