coffee beans spilling out of an orange cup onto a black table

Coffee Compound Improves Age-Related Decline in Memory and Learning

A new study has found that a bioactive compound found in coffee beans improved learning and memory decline in aged mice. The findings open the door to developing a supplementary medicinal compound to treat or prevent age-related cognitive decline.

September 24, 2023 | Source: New Atlas | by Paul McClure

Older individuals often experience slower problem-solving, reduced fluid reasoning, diminished perceptual speed and impaired memory and spatial ability. As the global population ages, there’s been a lot of research into ways of reducing or preventing this age-related cognitive decline.

Increasingly, researchers have turned to naturally occurring, bioactive compounds with neuroprotective properties to slow the progression of brain aging. A new study led by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan investigated how trigonelline (TG), an alkaloid compound that is present in high concentrations in coffee beans, affected cognitive functioning in mice.

Caffeine, TG, and nicotinic acid (niacin or vitamin B3) are three important bioactive compounds in coffee. During the bean roasting process, TG is broken down into nicotinic acid, which benefits the nervous and digestive systems and skin. However, studies have found that TG has its own therapeutic effects. The compound is also found in fenugreek seeds and Japanese radish.