Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Whether you drink yours for an energy boost or to enjoy the characteristic taste, espresso offers more than a pleasant-tasting dose of caffeine. Research suggests that the popular beverage could slash your dementia risk.

A study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found coffee could have a significant impact on reducing the risk of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. The research team found that just one espresso a day could make a difference.

Coffee seems to counteract the formation of tau proteins, notorious for building up in the brains of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. The research indicates that the compounds found in espresso actively break down these tau proteins, helping to prevent the damage they inflict on neurons and the subsequent cognitive decline. 

What’s more, even trendy Espresso Martini cocktails could offer benefits for your brain. Despite the alcohol content, the drink still contains espresso’s beneficial compounds that can contribute to staving off the processes associated with dementia.

While tau proteins play a crucial role in stabilising brain structures in healthy individuals, those afflicted with neurodegenerative diseases can see these proteins clump together into harmful ‘fibrils’ that disrupt neural function, leading to cognitive impairments characteristic of dementia.

This is where espresso steps in. Laboratory experiments conducted as part of the study demonstrated that coffee effectively counteracts the formation of these fibrils. 

The research also noted a geographical angle to the findings. The study revealed that around 96 percent of Italians consume espresso on a daily basis, indicating a potential dietary habit that may contribute to the lower prevalence of dementia in certain regions.

Using advanced scanning techniques, the researchers employed nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to delve into the chemical composition of espresso shots made from store-bought beans. Professor Mariapina D’Onofrio, one of the study authors, said: “Whether enjoyed on its own or mixed into a latte, Americano or even a martini, espresso provides an ultra-concentrated jolt of caffeine to coffee lovers.

“But it might do more than just wake you up. Espresso compounds can inhibit tau protein aggregation – a process that is believed to be involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”

To brew an espresso, you need to grind approximately 20 grams of coffee beans as finely as possible. The fine grind increases the surface area exposed to the brewing liquid, which should enhance extraction yield — the portion of the ground coffee that dissolves into the final drink.

For the shot, you need to force hot water through finely ground coffee beans, producing a concentrated extract. This extract is commonly used as the foundation for other beverages, like the popular Espresso Martini. 

Apart from reducing the risk of dementia, the research team concluded that regular espresso consumption has been linked to a lower likelihood of premature death.

What’s more, recent studies suggest that the popular drink could offer benefits beyond the brain when consumed in moderation. Notably, most of coffee’s health powers come down to its antioxidant and plant chemical content.

This powerful mix could reduce inflammation, potentially shielding you against conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver diseases, and certain types of cancer.

By admin

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