Fabulous Coffee Benefits Include Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s

Fabulous Coffee Benefits Include Lower Risk of Alzheimer’sIf you’ve ever been told you should cut back on coffee, I have good news: drinking coffee daily may actually be good for you. You probably already know that coffee can improve alertness, mood, attention, and energy.[1] But it has long-term benefits too: It may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and even some types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.[2,3,4] And if that’s not enough, coffee has also been shown to improve memory, help prevent cognitive decline, and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Along with fruits, vegetables, polyphenols, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids, coffee is included on the list of healthy nutrients beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease.[5] A review and meta-analysis in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease concludes that caffeine tends to protect against dementia. [6] One study that followed 1,409 people for 21 years found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of dementia 65% and Alzheimer’s disease 64%.[7] 

Coffee can act on many of the receptors in the brain, allowing it to modify neural mechanisms.[6] Caffeine itself may be able to help prevent and decrease the formation of amyloid-β proteins in the brain.[7] By decreasing the formation of these plaques, caffeine can help to partially prevent the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Further, coffee may be an especially good source of caffeine for preventing memory loss. Compounds specific to coffee synergize with caffeine to selectively enhance plasma cytokines, which help cognitive function.[5]

Beyond caffeine

Caffeine isn’t the only beneficial component in coffee. It also provides antioxidants, which rid the body of free radicals.[7] Free-radical formation can contribute to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although more research is needed, it is known that other components provide protection against dementia as well.[8]

A healthy coffee intake

Although coffee can be quite healthy and can reduce the risk of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline, drinking too much can have detrimental effects such as difficulty sleeping and nervousness. Withdrawal from caffeine can also present unpleasant symptoms, such as headaches.

Keep your coffee consumption relatively regular, and try to drink no more than three to five cups per day. Organic, non-flavored coffee reduces your exposure to pesticides and chemicals. If you don’t like the taste of coffee, green tea also provides many similar benefits.

Share your experience

Do you love coffee? How many cups a day do you drink? Do you think that coffee benefits your health? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[1] J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;35(2):413-21

[2] Diabetologia. 2014 Jul;57(7):1346-54.

[3] J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S221-38

[4] J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84.

[5] Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:524820.

[6] J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S187-204.

[7] J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S167-74.

[8] Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Jun 17. pii: S0197-4580(14)00431-X.

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UHN Staff

University Health News is produced by the award-winning editors and authors of Belvoir Media Group’s Health & Wellness Division. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with editorial offices in Florida, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, … Read More

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