Is coffee the new superfood?
FG_AUTHORS: Who Can Cut It?
“But we wanted to investigate why that is — which compounds are involved and how they may impact age-related cognitive decline.”
Strangely though, this has nothing to do with the caffeine, with decaf also offering similar beneficial properties – it seems though the key is dark roasted coffee beans!
“The caffeinated and de-caffeinated dark roast both had identical potencies in our initial experimental tests,” says Dr Ross Mancini, a member of the research team.
“So we observed early on that its protective effect could not be due to caffeine.”
Doctors identified a group of compounds known as phenylindanes, which are a product of the roasting process, which inhibit the two protein fragments that are common in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s from clumping together.
“It’s the first time anybody’s investigated how phenylindanes interact with the proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” Dr Mancini explained.
“The next step would be to investigate how beneficial these compounds are, and whether they have the ability to enter the bloodstream, or cross the blood-brain barrier.”