Another study on coffee published last month brings benefits to the beloved drink.
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According to a new research published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, drinking coffee can protect against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Researchers with the Krembilis Brain Institute in Canada have tried specifically to examine which compounds are involved and how they can affect the cognitive decline in age.
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They studied three kinds of coffee (light roast, dark roasted and decaffeinated dark roasts), and conducted experimental tests that showed the effects of a group of compounds known as phenylindans that are formed in the baking process of coffee beans and have a bitter taste.
According to the study, the compounds inhibited two protein fragments that are often found in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease from a "cluster".
"Therefore, phenylindans are a dual inhibitor," said lead researcher Donald Weaver in his statement. It's "very interesting, we did not expect it."
Since roasting leads to higher levels of phenylindans, dark roast coffee seems to be safer than lightly roasted coffee, says Weaver and his colleagues.
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"This is the first time anyone investigates how phenylindans work with proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," said colleague Ross Mancini.
While it is unclear how useful these compounds are and further research is needed to clarify how these findings can "translate into potential therapeutic options," research shows that "coffee is actually an ingredient that is beneficial to avert cognitive decline, "Weaver said. "It's interesting, but we suggest that coffee is a cure, certainly not."
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Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, the rate of death from this disease has increased by 55 percent in recent decades, according to the CDC. And in Georgia, the number of Alzheimer's deaths has increased by 201 percent since 2000.
The Atlanta Disease Control and Prevention Center recently revealed that the burden of Alzheimer's and related dementias would double in 2060.
In 2014, 5 million Americans – or 1.6 percent of the population – felt the burden of illness. It is expected to increase to 13.9 million, equivalent to nearly 3.3% of the projected population in 2060.
According to the Parkinson's Association, it estimates seven to ten million people in the world with a neurological disease.
Read the entire study at frontiersin.org.