Mount Sinai Medical Center investigators say that brain metabolism can be improved by drinking decaffeinated coffee. The team studied the relationship between this type of metabolism and type II diabetes, and found a strong correlation between the two.
By drinking caffeine-free coffee, people can help improve the way in which their brains metabolize glucose, therefore reducing the chances of developing type II diabetes. The disease can lead to other medical conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
These neurocognitive issues can be averted if the brain remains capable of metabolizing glucose effectively, and convert it into energy for neurons. This was demonstrated in a study the MSMC team conducted on unsuspecting lab mice.
The rodents were fed supplements containing decaffeinated coffee for about five months. They had been genetically engineered to develop type II diabetes, and the research team administered the drugs before the disease set on.
In mice that received the supplements, glucose metabolism remained effective even after the onset of diabetes, and they displayed no signs of cognitive impairment or dementia, PsychCentral
“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,” study investigator Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, explains.
“This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by type 2 diabetes, aging, and/or neurodegenerative disorders,” he goes on to say.
Past investigations have demonstrated that drinking one cup of normal coffee protects against Alzheimer's as well. However, caffeine is known to increase risks of heart diseases, stroke, and other conditions of the cardiovascular system.
For people who are sensitive to caffeine, decaffeinated coffee may be the best option. The MSMC determined that there are some chemicals besides caffeine which have beneficial effects on the human body.
“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,” Pasinetti explains.
Details of the new research were published online in the latest issue of the esteemed journal Nutritional Neuroscience.