The Secret Ingredient in Your Coffee That Could Shield Your Brain from Alzheimer’s

A mystery substance in coffee has been shown to help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. While researchers are working to isolate this unidentified chemical, you don’t need to wait for their results to benefit. All you need is to enjoy a daily beverage that is consumed worldwide.

A study at the University of South Florida has discovered that an unknown chemical in coffee that interacts with caffeine can help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. When combined, this mysterious substance and caffeine increase blood levels of a critical growth factor that helps to prevent Alzheimer’s destructive effects on personality and memory.

Researchers have found that other caffeinated drinks, such as colas, do not offer significant Alzheimer’s protection. Decaffeinated coffee is also relatively ineffective. This indicates that the unidentified ingredient in coffee, combined with caffeine, is the key to coffee’s positive effect against memory loss.

Factoring in GCSF

The research from Florida showcases that regular coffee helps the body increase a growth factor known as GCSF (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor). Generally, people who develop Alzheimer’s are lacking in GCSF, which has been shown to protect the memory of lab animals suffering from problems similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Caffeinated coffee provides a natural increase in blood GCSF levels,” says researcher Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist. “The exact way that this occurs is not understood. There is a synergistic interaction between caffeine and some mystery component of coffee that provides this beneficial increase in blood GCSF levels.”

The scientists are striving to isolate the unknown ingredient from coffee so that it can be added to other caffeinated drinks to help protect people against Alzheimer’s. However, at present, it is only available in coffee.

The Florida lab research compared the effects of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on brain health, along with caffeine alone. Both healthy test subjects and those suffering from lab animal versions of Alzheimer’s disease showed that consuming caffeinated coffee significantly increased blood levels of GCSF. The scientists used drip coffee in their research, noting that they are unsure whether instant coffee is as effective at increasing the body’s GCSF levels.

Three Benefits of GCSF

Researchers have found three ways that GCSF helps protect the brain from memory problems:

  1. It encourages bone marrow stem cells to travel to the brain and clear out the destructive beta-amyloid protein that damages neurons.
  2. It fosters new connections between brain cells.
  3. It multiplies the production of new neurons.

“All three mechanisms could complement caffeine’s ability to suppress beta-amyloid production in the brain,” says Cao. “Together these actions appear to give coffee an amazing potential to protect against Alzheimer’s — but only if you drink moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee.”

Brain-Boosting Beverage

To protect your brain with coffee, it is believed you need to consume 4 to 5 cups a day. Currently, the average American consumes about 1.5 to 2 cups, which is less than the amount researchers believe is necessary to guard against Alzheimer’s.

“No synthetic drugs have yet been developed to treat the underlying Alzheimer’s disease process,” says researcher Gary Arendash, who also took part in the study. “We see no reason why an inherently natural product such as coffee cannot be more beneficial and safer than medications, especially to protect against a disease that takes decades to become apparent after it starts in the brain.”

With more and more studies pointing towards the positive effects of coffee, incorporating this beverage into your daily routine can help to keep your body and mind healthy. Moderate daily consumption of coffee can be a natural way to support long-term brain health, and what’s better than enjoying a delicious cup of joe while protecting your memory?