Having coffee can help keep Alzheimer’s away
Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may provide protection against age-related cognitive decline and other neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, new report claims. In this way, just begin your day by adding coffee to your most vital meal of the day.
The report by the Institute for Scientific Information on coffee, a non-for-profit organisation devoted to the study and disclosure of Science related to coffee and health, highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood-brain barrier. For the first time, we have shown that chronic ingestion of caffeine protects the blood-brain barrier from cholesterol-induced leakage.
Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood-brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.
According to the report, research published this year suggests that moderate coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 27 per cent. Research has suggested that it is regular, long-term coffee drinking that is key to helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is not the first to flag up the health benefits of coffee. Caffeine can reduce the risk of asthma attacks and help improve circulation in the heart.
Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing certain cancers, as well as Parkinson's disease and type 2 diabetes. The drink can keep gallstones and kidney stones at bay and has a mild anti-depressant effect which could reduce the risk of suicide.
Alzheimer's is an incredibly complicated disease. Exercise and good nutrition do seem to be protective, but a person's risk is largely determined by genes. No one behaviour or diet change — like coffee drinking — can erase that risk. If future research brings stronger evidence that caffeine may modify the risk by some small percentage that means coffee lovers will have one more reason to drink away.
But even then, drinking too much isn’t good, either. As the researchers noted, three to five cups are optimal; anything over that, and you might find yourself with some problems.