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Could Caffeine Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease?

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Updated: September 22, 2006

Coffee Protects Mice Against Alzheimer's

According to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, caffeine intake not only appears to protect against Alzheimer's but may actually help those who already have the disease.

Researchers at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in Florida have reported that five cups of coffee a day could protect humans in the same way that the caffeine equivalent appears to have in the study of mice.

In a controlled study experiment using Alzheimer's mice, one group of mice had caffeine added to their drinking water. The memory of mice who drank the caffeinated water was roughly similar to mice to had no Alzheimer's. Researchers also found that levels of beta-amyloid proteins reduced in mice who drank caffeine. Beta-amyloid proteins aggregate into plaques within the brain and are present in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Some interesting results were also obtained when researchers gave caffeine to aged Alzheimer's mice who already had high levels of beta-amyloid protein in their brains. It was discovered that caffeine reduced the levels of beta-amyloid already present in the brain. This could suggest that coffee drinking is beneficial in people with Alzheimer's; for the time being this is speculation.

The therapeutic effects of caffeine over the long-term have been noted in relation to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer of the liver, colorectal cancer and suicide. Although caffeine has been suspected of causing high blood pressure the association appears stronger when caffeine is consumed via soft drinks.

Coffee may reduce your risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Article Source: G. W. Arendash, et al., Caffeine protects Alzheimer’s mice against cognitive impairment and reduces brain beta-amyloid production, Neuroscience (2006), doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.07.021

More Information About the Johnnie B.Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, Florida,

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