Your daily caffeine stoppage may have this health benefit. A new study published in Boundaries in neuroscience Suggests that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, USA TODAY reports. And the darker the fried, the better, because the researchers found that it is not necessarily caffeine that keeps your brain healthy. The researchers think that, in fact, the phenylindans – found in higher quantities in darker roast cafes – are the keys to a healthy brain. This is because phenylindans are known to prevent two protein fragments being common to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, says MindBodyGreen.
"Coffee consumption seems to have a certain correlation to reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," said Donald Weaver, co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute and one of the authors of the study, in a press release on the study. "But we wanted to investigate why it is – which associations are involved and how they can affect age-related cognitive decline."
Phenylindans are the only compound investigated in the study that holds the two protein fragments common to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's clumping, according to the press release on the study. Roasting coffee beans leads to higher yields of phenylindans, so dark roasted coffee seems to have a greater protective effect.
"This is the first time someone examines how phenylindans interact with the proteins responsible for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," said Ross Mancini, another author of the study, in the press release. "The next step would be to investigate how beneficial these compounds are and if they are able to enter the bloodstream or cross the blood-brain barrier."
But this is not the first study to test the effects of coffee and caffeine in neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. In January 2018 a study was published in the journal Neurology What was found caffeine-free coffee offered no protective benefits to Parkinson's patients, finds opposed to this new study. The researchers concluded that there was caffeine, not any compounds found in coffee, which offered pharmacological benefits, according to the study, while the new research found the opposite.
Americans consumed an estimated 3.4 billion pounds of coffee last year, according to Harvard Health, and overall studies show that drinking coffee in measurements is basically good for you, whether you drink ordinary or caffeine-free. Earlier this year, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that coffee drinkers actually live longer than non-coffee drinks, although they drink a lot of it. Although the caffeine bin is nice if it's your thing, coffee has other components that can lower the risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, dementia and gout, says Harvard Health.
As for the latest study on the power of coffee to protect your brain, researchers said they need to do more research before they can really benefit from the therapeutic benefits.
"What this study does is to take the epidemiological evidence and try to refine it and show that there are indeed components in coffee that are beneficial to ward off cognitive decline," Weaver said. "It's interesting, but we suggest coffee is a cure? Absolutely not."