Scientists have found many super powers in coffee, other than the obvious morning pick-me-up. Recently, the caffeinated drink has be found to prevent skin cancer and liver cancer. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease shows that coffee could help prevent you from being forgetful in your old age. Specifically, the study says, two cups of coffee per day could prevent Alzheimer’s all together.
The study took place at Italy’s University of Bari Aldo Moro where researchers reportedly surveyed over 1,400 elderly Italian men and women between the ages of 65 and 84 over a four-year period. The survey concluded that those elderly individuals who consumed up to two cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In a recent press release regarding the study, researcher Dr. Vincenzo Solfrizzi and Dr. Francesco Panza explained exactly how coffee works to fight off Alzheimer’s disease.
“These findings from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging suggested that cognitively normal older individuals who never or rarely consumed coffee and those who increased their coffee consumption habits had a higher risk of developing MCI. Therefore, moderate and regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects also against MCI confirming previous studies on the long-term protective effects of coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption and plasma levels of caffeine against cognitive decline and dementia.”
Based on the data received in the Italian study of the elderly, coffee is not the only caffeinated beverage that has this preventing effect on the brain. According to Science World Report, tea is also effective to cognitive function. This effectiveness, however, works more than one way and has some exceptions according to the news release.
“An interesting finding in this study was that cognitively normal older individuals who modified their habits by increasing with time their amount of coffee consumption (> 1 cup of coffee/day) had about two times higher rate of MCI compared to those with reduced habits (< 1 cup of coffee/day) and about one and half time higher rate of MCI in comparison with those with constant habits (neither more nor less 1 coffee/day). Moreover, those who habitually consumed moderate amount of coffee (1 or 2 cups of coffee/day) had a reduced rate of the incidence of MCI than those who habitually never or rarely consumed coffee. No significant association was verified between who habitually consumed higher levels of coffee consumption (> 2 cups of coffee/day) and the incidence of MCI in comparison with those who never or rarely consumed coffee.”
Though the study showed success of coffee drinking and cognitive improvement, the researchers anticipate rejections of their data in the future. To keep their study afloat, they suggest that someone else continue the research with more subjects.
“More sensitive outcomes such as findings from neuroimaging studies should become available from experimental data, so further explaining the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption. Larger studies with longer follow-up periods should be encouraged, addressing other potential bias and confounding sources, so hopefully opening new ways for diet-related prevention of dementia and AD.”
Still, after publishing, the researchers at the University of Bari Aldo Moro have concluded that coffee, as well as other caffeinated drinks in moderation, can prevent Alzheimer’s and decrease the likeliness of MCI.
[Image via LiveScience]