Who doesn’t love a nice cup of coffee in the morning?
There’s nothing like waking up and coming downstairs to the aroma of freshly-brewed Java filling your house. You sit on your couch, sip that sweet coffee goodness, and feel like the heavens are wishing you a wonderful day. Coffee is a beverage that most of us can’t live without, and according to a study out of Norfolk, Virginia, it’s one that you shouldn’t be without. After all, it may be just what you need to stave off Alzheimer’s Disease as you grow older!
How Coffee Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s
A number of studies over the last decade have indicated that caffeine may be helpful for protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s, which is why, back in 2010, a team of researchers decided to see for themselves just what effects coffee would have on the brain(1).
The researchers looked at mice with a cognitive impairment similar to Alzheimer’s. Some of the mice were given regular drinking water, but the rest were given water that contained caffeine. They drank that water from their young age into their older years, and the results were surprising and impressive!
Coffee Reduces Brain Plaques
Of the mice that drank caffeine from a young age, all of them showed a much lower level of the protein amyloid beta (AB). This abnormal protein is believed to be directly linked to the development of Alzheimer’s, so reducing its presence in the brain meant that the mice had a much lower risk of developing the Alziemer’s-like brain condition.
See also: preventing Alzheimer’s
Not only was there less of this Alzheimer’s-causing protein present in the brain, but the mice who consumed caffeine regularly from a young age had better memory and recall as they aged. Caffeine protected against memory impairment, but it also helped to repair some of the damage done by aging.
Some of the mice who didn’t consume caffeine from a young age were given caffeine when they got older, and the effects that it had on their brain was remarkable. They exhibited better memory and lower A-beta levels after just a month or two of drinking caffeine.
In other tests, mice given caffeine quickly saw lowered levels of amyloid beta in their brains and bloodstream, but those drinking decaf coffee showed no reduction in the AB levels at all. When they tested the same hypothesis on humans, the effect was the same–humans that drank coffee exhibited far lower levels of amyloid beta in their blood and brain than before!
How Much Coffee Should I Be Drinking?
Essentially, coffee may be one of the best things to help protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease!
As the study showed, caffeine has a direct effect on amyloid beta levels. The fact that AB is linked to Alzheimer’s means that controlling and reducing levels of this abnormal protein in your body may be the key to preventing the degenerative disorder in the first place.
One of the researchers, a Dr. Arkan Irfram, assistant professor of neuroepidemiology at Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Centre, said,
“The majority of human epidemiological studies suggest that regular coffee consumption over a lifetime is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, with an optimum protective effect occurring with three to five cups of coffee per day.”
Make sure not to go over 400 mg of caffeine per day and don’t splurge on the sugar and cream.