According to data from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, about 54 percent of all adults in the United States drink coffee on a daily basis.
While drinking coffee can bring both benefits and risks for a person’s health, a 2016 study from the University of Ulster in Coleraine, United Kingdom, concluded that the health benefits of moderate coffee consumption “clearly outweigh” the potential risks.
One of these benefits is that coffee seems to protect the brain against cognitive impairments and boost thinking skills.
How does this happen, and what is it about coffee that is so beneficial to cognitive health? These are some questions that a new study from the Krembil Brain Institute — part of the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto, Canada — aims to answer.
“Coffee consumption does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease,” notes Dr. Donald Weaver, who is co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute.
“But we wanted to investigate why that is — which compounds are involved and how they may impact age-related cognitive decline,” he adds.
Dr. Weaver and team’s findings — published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience — suggest that the key to coffee’s brain-protecting benefits lie not in its caffeine content, but in the existence of compounds released in the process of roasting the coffee beans.