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Can drinking higher amounts of coffee prevent Alzheimer's disease?

A new study recently published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience Journal says that it might. 

You daily  cup of joe has some surprising benefits
You daily  cup of joe has some surprising benefits (Unsplash)

If coffee is your beverage of choice,  here is some good news for you. According to a new study published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience Journal,  your daily caffeine fix could help protect you against Alzheimer's disease.

ANI reported that researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) investigated whether coffee intake affected the rate of cognitive decline of more than 200 Australians over a decade. Lead investigator Dr Samantha Gardener told ANI that the results showed an association between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer's disease."We found participants with no memory impairments and with higher coffee consumption at the start of the study had a lower risk of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment - which often precedes Alzheimer's disease - or developing Alzheimer's disease throughout the study," she said.

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The study pointed out that coffee positively impacted certain domains of cognitive function, specifically executive functions, 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." 

Dr Gardener told ANI that although further research was needed, the study was encouraging; it implied that drinking coffee could be an easy way to help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. "It's a simple thing that people can change," she said. Currently, the exact number of cups required to create a lasting effect is unclear. However, Dr Gardener seemed to believe that researchers might develop some clear guidelines people can follow in middle age that could have a lasting effect."If the average cup of coffee made at home is 240g, increasing to two cups a day could potentially lower cognitive decline by eight per cent after 18 months," Dr Gardener said. Also,  one could also see a five per cent decrease in amyloid accumulation in the brain over the same period, she added. 

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ANI reported that the study could not 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.). However, Dr Gardener told ANI that the relationship between coffee and brain function was worth pursuing further. "We need to evaluate whether coffee intake could one day be recommended as a lifestyle factor aimed at delaying the onset of Alzheimer's" disease," she said.


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