Coffee – A Natural Ally of Brain Health
Coffee is one of the favorite drinks of the Germans. It awakens energies, motivates and stimulates. What was once unknown: coffee protects our brains against dementias such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The stronger the roasting degree of the beans, the more effective the protective function, reports a Canadian research team in a recent study.
Contrary to previous assumptions, more and more health benefits of drinking coffee come to the fore. Researchers at the Canadian Krembil Research Institute in Toronto recently discovered that coffee consumption reduces the likelihood of developing dementias such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. For the protective effect, in particular the compounds appear to be responsible, which arise during the roasting process of the coffee beans. The results of the study were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.
Coffee better than your reputation
Is coffee healthy or harmful? Numerous studies have emerged against this issue in recent years. In the past, coffee was considered a little unhealthy because it was said to have a dehydrating effect which is now considered to be disproved. In fact, coffee is healthier than most people believe. It is soothing and stimulating at the same time and should prevent type II diabetes and heart disease. The latest research also suggests that coffee can protect our brain from neurodegenerative diseases. However, high coffee consumption can also contribute to hyperacidity and thus promote stomach problems and reflux.
Baking brings the protective effect
A Canadian scientific team has proven that drinking certain coffees can be beneficial to brain health. But how does popular hot drink support cognitive function? The researchers found the basis of protection mechanisms not in caffeine, but in compounds released during the roasting of coffee beans.
Same effect for decaffeinated coffee
A heavily roasted roasted coffee as well as a strong decaffeinated toast as well as a lightly toasted roasted coffee were examined. The team found that heavily roasted varieties, regardless of caffeine, have a stronger protective effect. In other tests, several compounds, the so-called phenylindanes, crystallized as responsible for the positive effect. These compounds form during the roasting process and give the coffee its typically bitter taste.
How do roast beef compounds protect our brains?
According to the researchers, roasted compounds in coffee ensure that less toxic proteins can bind to the brain. These so-called tau and beta-amyloid proteins are deposited as plaques in the brain and are thought to be responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The long roasting process is crucial.
As the research team emphasizes, a long roasting time in particular is responsible for the formation of protective roasting compounds. It does not matter if the coffee has been decaffeinated or not. The strongest protective effect on the brain is therefore based on dark roasted varieties.
Mother Nature is the best chemist
The Canadian team is excited about the discovery, especially as the protective effect comes from a completely natural process. This does not require synthesis in the laboratory and makes the drug so easy to produce and widely available. "Mother nature is a much better chemistry than we are," explains Dr. Ross Mancini, a leading scientist in the study, in a press release about the study's findings.
Is coffee now a cure for dementia?
"The purpose of this study was to show that there are actually components in the coffee that are useful to ward off cognitive decline," concludes Mancini. These processes are very interesting, but it is still early to declare coffee as a cure, the expert warns. (Vb)