The Alzheimer’s Beverage?

Coffee assists with fatigue but could it help lower your odds for Alzheimer’s disease? It is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. While there is currently a lack of any disease-modifying treatments, lead researcher Samantha Gardener, a post-doctoral research fellow at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, has helped look for modifiable risk factors that could delay the onset of the disease. 

Her team conducted a study where her team investigated if the rate of cognitive decline over 10 years in more than 200 people was affected by the intake of coffee.  While the study is in what she describes as the early stages, (the study also did not go into details as far as caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, home or purchase coffee, and whether the coffee had milk or sugar), she and her team found that higher coffee intake appeared to be slowing the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brain. It was also found to assist in function and attention.

“Increasing coffee intake from one cup to two could potentially lower cognitive decline by 8% over 18 months and decrease amyloid accumulation in the brain by 5%,” Gardener said.

“We couldn’t in this research find the maximum number of beneficial cups, so there will be a point where you can’t just have five cups and continue to get more beneficial effects. That’s something for future research as well, to find the ideal number of cups of coffee to have these positive effects,” she added.

Dr. Howard Fillit, Founding executive director and chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in New York City, said that A number of studies have suggested that coffee may have a protective factor against Alzheimer’s disease. He provided some funding for the study to support his beliefs. “I think we continue to find really interesting ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s, and it’s a very exciting time in the field. I think this is probably, in my read, one of the most well-done studies of coffee and its prevention of cognitive decline and dementia that I’ve seen so far,” Fillit said.

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