In a new study from Edith Cowan University, researchers found that drinking higher amounts of coffee may make you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
They found drinking more coffee gave positive results in relation to certain domains of cognitive function, a 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.
The results showed an association between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
The team says if the average cup of coffee made at home is 240g, increasing to two cups a day could potentially lower cognitive decline by 8% after 18 months.
It could also see a 5% decrease in amyloid accumulation in the brain over the same time period. In Alzheimer’s disease, the amyloid clumps together forming plaques that are toxic to the brain.
The study was unable to differentiate between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, nor the benefits or consequences of how it was prepared (brewing method, the presence of milk and/or sugar etc).
Researchers are yet to determine precisely which constituents of coffee are behind its seemingly positive effects on brain health.
Though caffeine has been linked to the results, preliminary research shows it may not be the sole contributor to potentially delaying Alzheimer’s disease.
“Crude caffeine” is the by-product of de-caffeinating coffee and has been shown to be as effective in partially preventing memory impairment in mice.
But other coffee components such as cafestol, kahweol and Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide have also been seen to affect cognitive impairment in animals in various studies.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about why some older people can keep their minds dementia-free and findings of these two types of dementia linked to Parkinson’s disease.
For more information about dementia and your health, please see recent studies about these common jobs can increase dementia risk by more than half and results showing that your neighborhood may affect your dementia risk.
The study is published in Frontiers of Ageing Neuroscience. One author of the study is Dr Samantha Garden.
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