New research conducted by specialists from Edith Cowan University (ECU) investigated how coffee affected the rate of cognitive decline in over 2000 Australians throughout ten years, revealing promising results.
Increased coffee consumption may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatment and lifestyle changes can slow its progression. However, the good news for coffee lovers is that a promising new Australian study suggests that higher coffee intake might be linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline; and was found there was also an association between higher coffee intake and slower accumulation of amyloid deposits in the brain.
It’s a simple thing that people can change
As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of aging, researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) investigated whether coffee intake affected the rate of cognitive decline of more than 200 Australians over a decade.
Lead investigator Dr. Samantha Gardener said results showed an association between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer’s disease.
“We found participants with no memory impairments and with higher coffee consumption at the start of the study had lower risk of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment — which often precedes Alzheimer’s disease — or developing Alzheimer’s disease over the course of the study,” she said.
Drinking more coffee gave positive results in relation to certain domains of cognitive function, specifically executive function which includes planning, self-control, and attention.
Higher coffee intake also seemed to be linked to slowing the accumulation of the amyloid protein in the brain, a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Gardener said although further research was needed, the study was encouraging as it indicated drinking coffee could be an easy way to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s a simple thing that people can change,” she said. “It could be particularly useful for people who are at risk of cognitive decline but haven’t developed any symptoms. We might be able to develop some clear guidelines people can follow in middle age and hopefully it could then have a lasting effect.”
To read the study, click here.
Source: Edith Cowan University/SciTechDaily
Make it a double!
If you only allow yourself one cup of coffee a day, the study indicates you might be better off treating yourself to an extra cup, although a maximum number of cups per day that provided a beneficial effect was not able to be established from the current study.
“If the average cup of coffee made at home is 240g, increasing to two cups a day could potentially lower cognitive decline by eight percent after 18 months,” Dr. Gardener said.
“It could also see a five percent decrease in amyloid accumulation in the brain over the same time period.”
In Alzheimer’s disease, the amyloid clumps together forming plaques which are toxic to the brain.
The study was unable to differentiate between caffeinated and de-caffeinated coffee, nor the benefits or consequences of how it was prepared (brewing method, the presence of milk and/or sugar, etc).
Dr. Gardener said the relationship between coffee and brain function was worth pursuing.
“We need to evaluate whether coffee intake could one day be recommended as a lifestyle factor aimed at delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.
Source: Edith Cowan University/SciTechDaily
similar studies go back at least a decade
Most recently, a paper was published in November called — Consumption of coffee and tea and risk of developing stroke, dementia, and poststroke dementia: A cohort study in the UK Biobank
But studies into this area are not new. A paper was published in 2010 entitled — Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other studies include:
- Coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption and prevention of late-life cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review.
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