Moderate, regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects against cognitive decline.
Moderate, regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The Journal recently published the results of a longitudinal study on aging involving over 1,400 older Italians (aged 65 to 84).
The study focused on how altering one’s coffee consumption habits can affect whether one develops mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which often presages the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Surprisingly, researchers found that healthy older adults who gradually increased their coffee consumption to more than one cup per day were twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as those individuals who decreased their coffee consumption to less than one cup per day.
The study also found that older adults who neither increased nor decreased their coffee consumption, but maintained a moderate intake of one to two cups per day, were less likely than non-coffee-drinkers to develop MCI.
These findings are consistent with previous studies on the long-term protective effects of coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption evidence.
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans; its debilitating effects on an individual’s mind are well-known. However, its causes are still not well understood.
Reigning medical wisdom attributes its onset to a buildup in the brain of a toxic peptide known as the beta-amyloid. The authors of this study hypothesized that caffeine’s protective effects stem from its ability to dampen excessive activation of certain adenosine receptors, which may reduce the levels of beta-amyloid in the brain.