Coffee Contains Hundreds of Medicinal Compounds That May Prevent Cognitive Decline – zoohousenews.com
(Natural News) For most people, coffee is nothing more than a caffeine hit, a quick burst of energy. Others appreciate the distinct flavor of coffee and drink a decaffeinated version. Many people don’t realize that coffee contains hundreds of bioactive compounds, oils, tannins, vitamins and minerals that play a positive role in cognition and longevity. Some of these compounds are removed from coffee during the decaffeination process, affecting the beverage’s medicinal properties.
Coffee reduces cellular inflammation and protects against neurodegenerative diseases
Many of the natural compounds in coffee have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties in animal studies. Some compounds prevent tissue scarring. Because of these properties, coffee can prevent cognitive decline and have a positive effect on other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Research shows that some of coffee’s medicinal properties come to life through chemical reactions that take place during roasting. Roasted coffee beans are rich in lipophilic antioxidants and chlorogenic acid lactones, which have neuroprotective properties.
The medicinal properties of coffee depend on the preparation techniques, the composition of each type of coffee bean, how it is grown and how it is stored. For example, two compounds in coffee — kahweol and cafestol — offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds are specific to coffee, but are found only in unfiltered coffees (such as espresso and French press coffee).
The natural caffeine in coffee plays a synergistic role in mediating the beneficial effects of the other compounds. Caffeine acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist and plays a crucial role in activating all other compounds in the coffee bean. Increased coffee consumption has been associated with lower serum amyloid levels. In other words, coffee reduces inflammation in the body, reduces metabolic signals associated with diabetes, and prevents other diseases associated with oxidative damage.
Compounds in coffee improve neuronal communication and prevent nerve cell death
The most abundant antioxidant compound in coffee is a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid (CGA). As a standalone treatment in cell culture, CGA increases the expression of the antioxidant enzyme NQO1, thereby preventing neuronal cell death. Decaffeinated coffee still contains decaffeinated alkaloids and polyphenols that offer health benefits. However, studies show that the decaffeination process removes up to 60% of the CGA. One of the metabolites of CGA is caffeic acid. In vivo studies in rats show that caffeic acid improves learning and memory in a dose-dependent manner.
A study was conducted on 38 adults (aged 50-69) with memory problems. One group received a CGA-fortified beverage once daily for sixteen weeks. The other group received a placebo for the same period. At the end of the study, the group that used CGA showed improvements in information processing and faster reaction speeds than the placebo group. The CGA group had elevated levels of circulating apolipoprotein A1 and transthyretin. In Alzheimer’s disease, individuals typically have low levels of these biomarkers.
After caffeine, trigonelline is the second most common alkaloid in the coffee bean. Rats treated with trigonelline show a reduction in inflammatory cytokines. There is evidence that trigonelline promotes neuronal connections and improves dementia. In molecular modeling studies, trigonelline disrupts the formation of amyloid aggregates and protects cells from oxidative stress.
Coffee is more than just an energy boost. By reducing inflammation, protecting against oxidative stress, and promoting neural communication, coffee serves as a natural medicine that can prevent cognitive decline.