Besides boosting your energy and attention levels, researchers have found that drinking coffee may also protect you against developing both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This could be due to phenylindanes – an antioxidant compound found in roasted coffee beans, reported Business Standard.
Co-director at Univeristy Health Network’s Kremblin Brain Institute in Toronto, Donald Weaver said, “Coffee consumption does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
For the study, reported in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, the team chose to investigate three different types of coffee – light roast, dark roast and decaffeinated dark roast. The caffeinated and de-caffeinated dark roast both showed phenylindanes, suggesting that the effect is not due to caffeine.
Phenylindanes prevent or rather inhibit both beta amyloid and tau – two protein fragments common in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – from clumping. Weaver noted, “So phenylindanes are a dual inhibitor. It’s very interesting because we were not expecting that.”
As roasting leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, dark roasted coffee appears to be more protective than light roasted coffee. However, the results do not suggest that coffee is a cure, said the researchers, adding that more study is needed before it can translate into a potential therapeutic.
“What this study does is take the epidemiological evidence and try to refine it and to demonstrate that there are indeed components within coffee that are beneficial to warding off cognitive decline,” Weaver added.
He concluded, “It’s interesting but if you think that we’re suggesting that coffee is a cure, it’s absolutely not.”
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