Drinking coffee could protect against both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to new research by the Krembil Brain Institute.
The researchers identified a group of compounds known as phenylindanes, which emerge as a result of the roasting process for coffee beans. Phenylindanes are unique in that they are the only compound investigated in the study that inhibit beta amyloid and tau, two protein fragments common in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, from clumping.
As roasting leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, dark roasted coffee appears to be more protective than light roasted coffee.
‘It’s the first time anybody’s investigated how phenylindanes interact with the proteins that are responsible for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 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.’