This Coffee Roast Fights Cognitive Decline

mbg Contributor By Caroline Muggia
mbg Contributor
Caroline Muggia is a writer, environmental advocate, and registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College.

Photo by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy

With around 500 billion cups of coffee consumed each year around the world, it is no surprise the research on coffee continues. The science pingpongs from it's deadly to it's not so bad to it's actually healthy—and today is no exception.

A new study from the Krembil Brain Institute investigated the compounds in three different roasts: light, dark, and decaffeinated dark roast. They identified a cluster of compounds called phenylindanes, which stopped two proteins, common in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, from thickening. The compounds were found in higher numbers the longer the coffee has been roasted, so this is excellent news for those who like a dark roast.

To the researchers' surprise, the caffeinated and decaffeinated dark roasts were as effective in stopping the proteins from clumping, indicating the protective factors may have more to do with the level of roast rather than the caffeine content.

A lot of research has found drinking coffee has significant health benefits, such as a longer life span, improved brain health, and reduced risk of diabetes. But more research is needed on how phenylindanes affect cognitive decline and why dark roasts may be more potent.

In the meantime, if you are a coffee drinker, you may want to opt for a darker roast. For those who don't drink coffee, a decaf dark roast will do—hey, it has all the same benefits!

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