Here is another reason to grab an extra cup of coffee. New findings published in Frontiers in Neuroscience report that dark roast coffee can help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
The research analyzed how dark roast, which is full of compounds called phenylindanes, have the ability to inhibit the production of proteins (amyloid beta and tau) that are associated with both of those devastating brain diseases. As both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s progress amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles form in the brain.
Dark roast for the win
For the study, the researchers looked at the effects of three different samples of Starbucks Via instant coffee: light roast, dark roast, and decaffeinated dark roast. All three helped to prevent clumping (which means it is not the caffeine having an impact) but the dark roast samples specifically had more inhibitory benefits with these proteins. There are higher concentrations of phenylindanes in dark roast coffee because the roasting time is longer.
“By heating things up, the chemicals undergo changes,” lead author Donald Weaver, MD, co-director of the Krembil Brain Institute, told Health. “As well, the heating process gives us access to chemicals that would normally not be there.”
It should be noted though, that this research is very preliminary.