Just as wine made big news several years ago for its heart benefits, coffee is now making news thanks to research on the beverages effects on Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.
As with wine, there are beneficial amounts of coffee and amounts that border on abuse. Is coffee the answer that we’ve been looking for when it comes to Alzheimer’s?
1. Why Coffee?
Caffeine reacts with an as of yet unknown component in coffee to boost levels of a specific growth factor in the blood. This growth factor stalls the development of Alzheimer’s disease in a way that scientists don’t quite understand at the moment. Don’t let the fact that the process hasn’t been figured out just yet dissuade you, the facts prove that coffee does indeed stall the process of the disease. It’s only a matter of time before researchers discover exactly how it all works.
2. How Much is Enough?
Adults who drink moderate amounts of coffee on a daily basis may be able to stall the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, if not fight it off completely. Studies have shown that about three cups of day is the proper amount of coffee to drink daily. Keep in mind that this means regular, caffeinated coffee. If you drink fancy coffees, the amount of beneficial daily consumption may vary.
3. How Much is Too Much?
As much as you love your coffee, try to keep in mind that too much of a good thing can indeed be too much. Drinking more than three cups of coffee per day won’t increase the benefits that you receive from the beverage and may actually be harmful. Too much caffeine can lead to sleeplessness, agitation and even depression. Make sure that you are consuming a moderate amount of coffee per day rather than an excessive amount.
4. Is All Caffeine the Same?
The answer to this question is, sadly, no. While it’s the caffeine in coffee that seems to be doing the trick, it’s the way that the caffeine reacts with the coffee that is the key. You won’t be able to stave off Alzheimer’s disease by drinking Red Bull, Coke or your fifth Diet Pepsi of the day. If you want to prevent dementia as you age, drinking three cups of coffee is the only currently proven caffeinated beverage that can do the job.
The study that was conducted included 124 adults with only mild decreases in mental acuity. The participants, aged 65 to 88, were found to have a reduced risk of developing or delaying dementia by drinking a moderate amount of coffee. Those people who did progress to dementia had a 51 percent lower level of caffeine in their blood than those participants whose mild cognitive impairments did not progress at all.
If Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prevalent in your family, you may want to consider picking up a coffee habit. By drinking just three cups of coffee per day, you can reduce your risk of developing dementia as you age significantly. Just remember that three cups is the key; four or more cups of coffee per day can do more harm than good.