Decaffeinated coffee seems to improve brain energy metabolism in association with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Glucose utilization in the brain is reduced in individuals with type 2 diabetes and may result in other neurocognitive problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
For the study, researchers tested whether dietary supplementation with a standardized decaffeinated coffee preparation prior to diabetes onset might affect glucose utilization and insulin resistance in mice with diet-induced type 2 diabetes.
For five months, the mice received the supplement. The research team discovered that after the coffee supplementation, the brain was able to more effectively metabolize glucose and use it for cellular energy in the brain.
“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 Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD.
“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.”
Drinking coffee is not recommended for everyone due to the fact that it is has been associated with cardiovascular health risks such as elevated blood cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which lead to a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and premature death. These effects have primarily been attributed to the high caffeine content of coffee. However, the results of this study show that some of the non-caffeine components in coffee provide health benefits in mice.
Pasinetti hopes to further explore the preventive role decaffeinated coffee may have as a dietary supplement in humans.
“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,” he said.
The research is published online in Nutritional Neuroscience.
Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center