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Study: Coffee Combats Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:32 AM

Intriguing new research suggests your morning cup of coffee may do more than merely boost your energy and alertness: High blood caffeine levels in older adults appear to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
The study – conducted by researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami – provides the first direct evidence that caffeine and coffee intake may reduce the risk of dementia or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
For the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers monitored the memory and thinking processes of 124 people -- aged 65 to 88 -- in Tampa and Miami. They also measured caffeine levels in the seniors’ blood. Their findings: Those with higher caffeine levels avoided the onset of Alzheimer's disease during the study period. Coffee appeared to be the major or only source of caffeine for these individuals.
"These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee -- about three cups a day -- will not [develop] Alzheimer's disease -- or at least will experience a substantial delay before [doing so]," said lead researcher Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF College of Pharmacy and USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute.
"The results from this study, along with our earlier studies in Alzheimer's mice, are very consistent in indicating that moderate daily caffeine/coffee intake throughout adulthood should appreciably protect against Alzheimer's disease later in life."
The findings add to a growing list of health benefits tied to moderate coffee consumption. Recent studies have found caffeine appears to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, stroke, breast cancer, heart disease, lung disease, pneumonia, diabetes, infections, and even some injuries and accidents.
Cao noted the new USF study has not concluded that coffee is a foolproof way to prevent Alzheimer’s.
"We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer's disease," Cao cautioned. "However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer's or delay its onset."
About 10 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and that number is expected to climb as the baby boom generation continues to enter older age.

© HealthDay

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High blood caffeine levels in older adults lowers the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's.
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:32 AM
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