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Decaf coffee may have healthful benefits for the brain

cup o  joe

Hey decaf drinkers – you may be doing something right for your heart and your brain. Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that decaffeinated coffee may increase brain energy metabolism associated with type 2 diabetes. This type of brain dysfunction is implicated in dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.

“Impaired energy metabolism in the brain is known to be tightly correlated with cognitive decline during aging and in subjects at high risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders,” said Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, and Psychiatry, at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive declines caused by type 2 diabetes, aging and/or neurodegenerative disorders.”

The research team looked at whether dietary supplementation with a standardized decaffeinated coffee preparation prior to diabetes onset might improve insulin resistance. They administered the supplement to mice for five months and evaluated the brain’s genetic response. The brain was better able to more effectively metabolize glucose and use it for cellular energy in the brain. Reduced glucose utilization can result in neurocognitive problems.

“In light of recent evidence suggesting that cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders may be traced back to neuropathological conditions initiated several decades before disease onset, developing preventive treatments for such disorders is critical,” said Dr. Pasinetti.

Drinking coffee is not for everybody and it can lead to cardiovascular health risks for some people. These negative effects are usually associated with high caffeine found in some coffees. These findings suggest there could be healthful benefits to drinking the non-caffeinated variety.

Source: MedialNewsToday, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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