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Coffee Consumption May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

By January 27, 2009

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Photo © MicrosoftSince I've been burning the midnight oil quite a bit lately, I perked up a bit when I read about a study by Finnish and Swedish scientists that explored whether coffee consumption might affect Alzheimer's risk.

In the study, 1,409 people were interviewed about their coffee drinking habits and their memory functioning when they were in their 50s and again when they were between 65 and 79 years of age. The researchers found that those who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day in mid-life were 60-65% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in later life.

The scientists weren't sure how or why coffee might reduce Alzheimer's risk, but they suggested that the drink's high antioxidant content may be a factor.

I would love to think that my coffee habit is helping my brain, but it's important to remember that this study only showed an association and did not prove that drinking coffee will reduce your risk of Alzheimer's. Still, while coffee isn't for everyone and can cause problems like gastrointestinal upset, there may be something to this study. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for more research on this topic while I continue to enjoy my daily cup(s) of joe.

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February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm
(1) maxine says:

I drink decaf is thet the same or does it have to be pure coffee.
I went on to decaf to help menopause symtons and lower flushes,is the right.

February 4, 2009 at 5:29 pm
(2) Mark says:

I’m just making educated guesses like everyone else, but I can think of three possible mechanisms. 1. Coffee is very anti-oxidant as the article mentions. 2.Coffee supplies a moderate dose of niacin, which helps levels of neurotransmittters. mega doses of niacin are too risky) 3.By stimulating the adrenal glands, coffee may suppress the chronic low grade inflamation associated with Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

February 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm
(3) Carrie Hill, Guide to Alzheimer's Disease says:

Thanks for the comments everyone! Just FYI, my understanding is that the study looked at regular coffee only — not decaf. If I find any additional research on decaf vs. regular, I’ll be sure to post something about it.

Carrie Hill, Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease

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