Why Coffee is Good for Your Brain

“Prolimbic 29® has the healthy benefits of the coffee bean without the potential drawbacks of caffeine,” explains Dr. Jordan P. Balencic, primary care physician and CEO of ERApeutics®.

That morning cup of caffeinated Java may give you a lift to start your day and keep you moving, but coffee may benefit brain health, too.

A study from the Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto shows that it isn’t just the caffeine that provides all the health benefits . . . so decaffeinated coffee drinkers can start cheering now.

Researchers at Krembil point out that coffee has attracted interest in the medical community due to a growing number of studies that tie coffee consumption with a reduced risk of developing diabetes, various cancers and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (Butt and Sultan, 2011). They set out to find which compounds in coffee lower cognitive decline and lower the risk of developing diseases that primarily affect the neurons in the brain (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).

Caffeine was one of the compounds the researchers evaluated.

“The good news is that this study shows that phenylindanes in brewed coffee, not caffeine, inhibit beta-amyloid and tau aggregation. Beta-amyloid is that sticky plaque forms in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. This means that incorporating coffee into your morning routine may actually keep your synapses healthy and reduce your risk of developing cognitive decline. Phenylindanes are created during the roasting process. The darker the coffee, the more phenylindanes there are,” said Dr. Balencic.

How to Get the Benefits of Whole Coffee Fruit

For this reason, Dr. Balencic says his team chose to include an ingredient taken from whole coffee fruit in their popular brain health supplement, Prolimbic 29®. The patented ingredient called NeuroFactor™ has been shown in two human clinical studies to increase BDNF levels up to 143%. BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein responsible for developing and protecting nerve cells in the central and peripheral nervous system. BDNF levels decline with age and become dysregulated in people with diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

“NeuroFactor™ is an exciting, patented ingredient with the powerful antioxidant capacity to help fight free radical stress and raise BDNF levels in the brain,” said Dr. Balencic.

Caffeine Cautions

It is generally accepted that caffeine and caffeinated coffee bring about short-term improvements in alertness, attention and memory (Butt and Sultan, 2011). “But caffeine can have serious adverse effects,” Dr. Balencic cautions.

For example, a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience suggested that chronic caffeine administration may exacerbate behavioral and psychological symptoms of patients with dementia (anxiety-related behaviors) and could interfere with any potential cognitive benefits of caffeine consumption.

“Many patients who are interested in improving their brain health are older and could be affected by the side effects of ingredients that some manufacturers include in their supplements. I don’t want to give someone a supplement that’s going to potentially cause harm, raise their blood pressure or interact with another medication,” said Dr. Balencic. “ERApeutics is a physician-led company. We won’t recommend a product unless the science makes sense.”

This study from Krembil Brain Institute further reinforces the science behind ERApeutics’ brain health supplement, Prolimbic 29®, Dr. Balencic said. “Prolimbic 29® gives you the benefits of coffee bean fruit without the potential problems associated with caffeine.”

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