Coffee May Decrease Risk of Alzheimer’s

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

Today I had to give a presentation in class, and I chose my topic to be “Do Eggs Cause Heart Disease?” I think we all know the answer to that question, and my conclusion was a resounding no.

I like to think that I knocked that presentation out of the park, but one of the other presenters today showcased some truly fascinating information that I had not been fully aware.

She did her presentation of coffee and its association to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As you long-time readers know, I am a fan of coffee and have written about its health benefits in the past.

I did recently announce that I was going to cut my coffee consumption down, and I probably still will just to include more tea in my life and its awesome health benefits, but this new data has inspired me to continue to give some love to my morning cup of joe.

She presented some very convincing evidence of coffee consumption and the marked retention of cognitive impairment compared to non-consumption. This has been shown repeatedly, and the effect seems to be most pronounced at about 3 cups per day. 2 cups per day also had a solid effect, but less than that, and for every cup over 3, the protection declined.

This protection was not seen with tea or with decaffeinated coffee, so it is due to some combination of the caffeine in coffee, as well as one or more of its bioactive compounds (caffeic acid maybe?).

Like I noted in my previous blog on coffee, it is not for everyone, and there are some people who have adverse effects from its consumption. If you are one of those people, it is probably best to stick with tea. For everyone else, a combination of tea and fully caffeinated coffee seems to give you a tremendous and varied amount of health benefits, so drink up and enjoy!

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Posted on December 3rd, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

7 Comments

  1. Jacob Says:

    Not that I doubted coffee before, but now I’m an even bigger fan! It’ll stay a main ingredient in my morning routine. Drink up!

  2. Weekly Recap: 12/4 Says:

    [...] Coffee May Decrease Risk of Alzheimer’s (Brian St. Pierre) – Among other benefits. [...]

  3. hooch turner Says:

    Hmm, I guess it’ll be Arkham Asylum for me, as I’m not sure can I drink about 3 cups per day. Unlike Jacob, I do slightly doubt coffee on account of a few bad experiences (everything’s subjective). I seem to get a pretty strong whack off only 1 cup. It really feels like a drug upon ingestion – tension, etc. Any after 3pm and I won’t sleep that night. Cafés etc, seem to serve strong doses of coffee, whereas at home, it’s easier to control the dose, and simply use one teaspoon of instant coffee. Grinding one’s own coffee also seems to make it harder to control the dose, as the tendency is to grind a good few beans at once.

    In your post about the health benefits of coffee, you mention that it’s high in antioxidants. I just wonder if they would be pretty negligible though, since one may be better off limiting the amount of coffee consumed, so as to avoid becoming a wired up jitter bug. Perhaps it would be far less taxing on one’s system to derive antioxidants through eating a substantial amount of dark chocolate, or to drink multiple cups of green tea (granted, your average bear won’t necessarily consume the healthy versions of chocolate or tea).

    Some companies now have ‘green bean’ coffee, which is supposed to have even more antioxidants. Maybe I just want someone to say that it’s not all that great, relatively speaking, because I’m missing out on all the fun.

  4. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Hooch,

    Like I noted in the article, coffee isn’t for everyone. Some people are just very caffeine-sensitive, and you sound like one of those people. There are many other ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

    As for your comments about coffee, no I don’t think it is negligible at all. Ounce for ounce it has more antioxidants than green tea. For those of us who tolerate caffeine, its antioxidant or other bioactive compound content (in conjunction with its caffeine) are what provide the protection against dementia. These benefits were not derived from tea unfortunately.

    You can certainly get tons of other beneficial compounds in your diet, that goes without saying, but coffee by itself seems to offer some unique protections.

  5. hooch turner Says:

    Ok, thanks for your response Brian. I might try forcing my body to adapt to it, just to see how that goes, before conceding defeat. The benefits you’ve mentioned in both articles are just too tantalising. Plus it tastes pretty good.
    One thing, that perhaps everyone should know, is that drinking excessively hot drinks can possibly lead to mouth and throat cancers. Plus boiling water usually damages the antioxidants anyway

  6. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Page not found Says:

    [...] Coffee May Decrease Risk of Alzheimer’s [...]

  7. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » Healthful Drinks with Actual Flavor! Says:

    [...] people can consume. I have blogged about many of these options and their health benefits- coffee (here, here), white/green/oolong/black tea (here, here), rooibos tea (here, here), pomegranate juice [...]

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