Scientists are doing research to understand what compounds in coffee can prevent conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease . Most of the studies are focused on caffeine and some of the coffee compounds. One of these, called Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT ), has been found to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have also been made and results show that there is synergy between the two components that protect the brain from biochemical and molecular changes.
The latest study aims to find out whether the combination of caffeine and this compound results in better brain protection than any individual element. Researchers argue, however, that the composition of EHT differs in the different types of coffee, and that it is important to determine the appropriate amount and ratio so that drinkers are not caffeinized as this may have negative health effects. The authors of the study argue that more research is needed to determine optimal doses of EHT and caffeine , ie, what amount of coffee is most beneficial.
In addition to the two components, other very important compounds – phenylindanes , which are formed during the coffee roasting process , stand out in the coffee. They are also largely responsible for the bitter taste of coffee. Scientists say that the darker the coffee, the greater the amount of these compounds.
Phenylindans suppress the growth of proteins that are associated with the prevention of degenerative brain diseases. The two types of proteins – amyloid beta and tau are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. As these conditions progress, proteins stimulate the production of amyloid plaques in the brain.
Despite the benefits and positive effects of coffee on the brain and the prevention of dementia and Parkinson’s disease, it does not mean that everyone should start drinking dark coffee. Researchers claim that, according to some of the studies, less-fired beans have high levels of other beneficial compounds that also bring benefits to the body, but other studies are being done.