University of Verona scientists found that strong coffee may protect people from Alzheimer's disease, meaning that you don't need to feel guilty when ordering an espresso, even an espresso martini, next time.
The study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry presented evidence that a dark shot of coffee destroyed rogue tau proteins that gather in in the brain, a process that has been found to lead to Alzheimer's.
"Although exact mechanisms that cause these conditions are still unclear, it's thought that a protein called tau plays a significant role," says lead study author Mariapina D'Onofrio.
In folks without the neurodegenerative disease, tau helps structure and stabilize the brain, but when people have Alzheimer's it clumps together and these tangles cause dementia, which slows memory and thinking. When people drink espresso, or strong coffee, these tangles — also called fibrils — do not occur.
D'Onofrio and the rest of the team in Italy used store-bought beans and scanned their chemical makeup with a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Researchers found that you don't need to just order an espresso, either. Mixed into a latte, Americano, or espresso martini were all ways to reap the benefits of strong coffee.
Regular coffee consumption, in general, has been linked to reduced risk of premature death, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver cancer, and numerous other cancers.
So next time, order your coffee black and strong for the sake of your memory.
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Espresso Coffee Mitigates the Aggregation and Condensation of Alzheimer's Associated Tau Protein.