That cup of coffee you (probably) enjoyed this morning? It comes from a plant known for packing some serious brain health benefits—and not always in the form that you might be used to.
Coffee is consistently ranked as one of the most popular beverages in the world, and humans have been harvesting, roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee beans for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. But while the widely beloved coffee bean might be the usual superstar, there’s one product of the coffee plant that’s gaining a whole new level of attention for its potential brain-boosting power: the coffee fruit.
Here’s a closer look at the mighty coffee fruit, and why so many people focused on protecting their cognitive function and improving their memory are turning to coffee fruit extract as a powerful supplement to help protect overall brain health.
What Is Coffee Fruit?
The coffee fruit is the fleshy outer layer that encases the highly coveted coffee seed or “bean.” The bioactive effects of the coffee bean are well known. The fruit, in contrast, has traditionally been overlooked and treated as a waste material due to its high perishability and lack of commercial value relative to the highly caffeinated seeds
Despite being treated as a byproduct, it has long been suspected that the coffee fruit may contain beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, but, again, due to its lack of commercial viability, this was never seriously pursued. That is, until now!
Coffee Fruit Extract and Brain Health
If you’ve taken NeuroQ, you probably noticed that coffee fruit extract is one of the product’s five key ingredients. Naturally, you may have assumed that this had something to do with boosting energy. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
Why Do People Take Coffee Fruit for Brain Health?
While the beans may be the big seller, the coffee fruit itself packs some serious medicinal benefits all its own, and that’s why coffee fruit extract is a key component of the NeuroQ formula.
Coffee fruit contains a rich combination of beneficial nutrients and is widely considered a “superfood” for its potential brain-boosting power. Some of the most beneficial nutrients in coffee fruit include:
- Vitamin B2. This important vitamin may play a big role in brain health by preventing the loss of neurons and helping maintain healthy nerve cells, which may help preserve memory.
- Caffeine. Aside from the boost of energy, caffeine may also help improve both mood and concentration, both of which can be beneficial for brain health.
- Magnesium. A key chemical in the transmission of messages between nerve cells, magnesium is considered a vital nutrient for the body and brain. It may also offer significant neuroprotective benefits.
- Antioxidants. Most people know antioxidants for their role in fighting free radicals—rogue electrons which can cause cell damage throughout the body.
- Quinic acid. Partly responsible for giving coffee its bitter taste, quinic acid may play an important role in supporting the beneficial effects of antioxidants in the body. It may also offer some benefits as an anti-inflammatory agent, which may help protect the brain’s neural pathways.
- Chlorogenic acid. Like quinic acid, chlorogenic acid is an ester naturally found in coffee fruit. Some research suggests that chlorogenic acid may also act as a helper for antioxidants, and may provide anti-inflammatory support in the body.
- The diterpenes cafestol and kahweol. These naturally occurring chemicals have been widely studied for their potential health benefits. For this reason, these diterpenes are of particular interest for protecting brain health.
Boosting Energy and Memory with Coffee Fruit Extract
Coffee fruit extract does contain a small amount of caffeine (about 2mg per serving). However, its main benefit is the strengthening of your brain cells by boosting the production level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This molecule supports the survival of neurons in your nervous system.
Scientists began taking a serious second look at the coffee fruit several years ago because of its potential to improve brain health.
What Exactly Is BDNF?
BDNF is a protein responsible for growth factors that protect your brain cells from becoming damaged over time. Like the nerve growth factor (NGF) that controls the growth of nerve cells, BDNF stimulates and controls the growth of new brain cells. It also supports the maturation and survival of existing brain cells, which is why low levels of BDNF are often associated with decreased brain function over time.
This neurotrophic factor increases the surfacing of pro-survival genes that protect your brain cells from gradual erosion. High levels of this molecule are associated with strong, high-functioning neural pathways, while reduced levels of BDNF are associated with decreased cognitive functioning.
A gradual decline in BDNF production is natural and inevitable. After a person is born, their BDNF levels increase steadily until adulthood when the trend reverses, and it starts to diminish. Therefore, it’s so important to be preventative in protecting your BDNF levels and other healthy brain chemicals.
For those concerned with preserving their cognitive function, BDNF may help prevent or manage memory loss, since the highest levels of BDNF are found in hippocampal neurons.
According to a paper published in the Archives of Medical Science, “Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth, serves as a neurotransmitter modulator, and participates in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory.”
Clinical Evidence of Coffee Fruit’s Benefits for Brain Health
Any molecule that plays an “important role” in the survival and growth of brain cells is naturally one that mental health researchers take interest in.
An especially potent source of BDNF-increasing agents is the coffee fruit. One NIH study found that subjects who were given a 100 mg capsule of coffee fruit extract (the same amount in one serving of NeuroQ) exhibited a 143% increase of plasma BDNF in just two hours.
Several other substances were tested in the same study, including caffeine powder (72% caffeine), grape seed extract, and green coffee bean extract. In this study, only the whole coffee fruit extract was found to produce a significant rise in BDNF levels.
This dramatic boost spurred on by coffee fruit extract is highly encouraging for those who study the viability of phytochemicals to improve cognitive function. The results of this study on coffee fruit coupled with the data about brain-derived neurotrophic factors indicates that this product can address conditions associated with memory loss.
Integrating Coffee Fruit into Your Brain Health Regimen
Now that you’re been made aware of the immense benefits of coffee fruit and the importance of BDNF in maintaining a healthy brain, how do you make it a part of your everyday life? Luckily, there are many easy ways to incorporate this nutrient into your diet.
Because coffee fruit contains extensive health benefits beyond cognitive performance (skincare, fat loss, detoxification), products containing the nutrient vary widely in form and function. Therefore, it’s important to assess whether your chosen delivery method will achieve the desired effect. The ingredients in a skin lotion, for example, likely won’t cross the blood-brain barrier as effectively as a pill. Keep this tip in mind when exploring your options.
The core point is, BDNF is good for your brain health. And coffee fruit extract boosts the levels of BDNF in your body. Like all other supplements, its impact depends on the other choices that you make daily. If you live an otherwise healthy life, then this nutrient can help bolster your cognitive performance. We recommend that it has great potential to be a valuable piece of a comprehensive brain health regimen.
Want to Add Coffee Fruit Extract to Your Diet?
NeuroQ Can Help.
Adding coffee fruit (and all its brain-boosting benefits) to your routine is now easier than ever—which is great news for anyone focused on protecting their overall brain health. First and foremost, you could start taking NeuroQ. Our neuro-protective formula contains 100 mg of coffee fruit extract per two-capsule serving. The supplement also contains other clinically researched nutrients nutrients to boost cognitive performance.
In clinical studies, NeuroQ has been shown to increase BDNF levels in the brain by up to 143%. High BDNF levels serve as neuroprotection against subjective cognitive decline.