Coffee may help reduce risk of developing Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease

Desiree Burns
November 8, 2018

COFFEE has always been believed to have certain health benefits.

This is according to a new study out of the Krembil Brain Institute.

Millions of people reach for the coffee pot first thing in the morning - and continue to do so throughout the day - to get a jolt of caffeine.

Good news for coffee addicts - your beverage of choice may be protecting you from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

And although other studies have found health benefits in coffee, this study surprisingly found that dark roasts help lower your chances of developing both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and that both caffeinated and decaffeinated roasts were effective.

If you're regularly pouring yourself a cup of coffee, you could be getting more than just a quick caffeine hit.

Dr. Weaver and colleagues hypothesized that compounds found in brewed coffee may elicit neuroprotective effects by inhibiting the aggregation of beta-amyloid, tau or alpha-synuclein proteins.

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Roasting coffee beans triggers the release of phenylindanes, a group of compounds which prevent the "clumping" of proteins common in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"The caffeinated and decaffeinated dark roast both had identical potencies in our initial experimental tests", Dr. Ross Mancini, a member of the research team, said.

"So we observed early on that its protective effect could not be due to caffeine", said Mancini.

Dr Mancini added: 'It's the first time anybody's investigated how phenylindanes interact with the proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The researchers believe that these coffee antioxidants protect against the development of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, because they have the potential to inhibit proteins beta-amyloid and Tau proteins that accumulate in the brain and cause damage, leading to the development of risky diseases.

Dr Weaver said: 'So phenylindanes are a dual-inhibitor. "Very interesting, we were not expecting that", Dr. Weaver said.

All the authors have considered the six components of coffee, among which were finlandei - antioxidants that appear only when roasting. "The next step is to investigate how useful this compound is and whether it is easy to enter the bloodstream or cross the blood-brain barrier".

He said: 'Mother Nature is a much better chemist than we are and Mother Nature is able to make these compounds.

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