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Drinking Coffee in Moderation Enhances Memory

Researchers of a recent study reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease examined over 1,400 Italian seniors from ages 65 to 84 and found interesting associations between coffee consumption and risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). They found that people who consistently drank one to two cups of coffee per day had lower rates of MCI than those who rarely or never drank coffee. However, those who habitually drank over two cups per day did not show similar benefits.
The researchers also discovers that the rate of MCI increased over time for older adults who bumped up their daily coffee intake by a cup or more per day. These participants had a one-and-a-half time greater chance of having MCI than those who were long-term, moderate coffee drinkers (one to two cups daily) who did not increase their daily intake.
The bottom line, according to this study: Older adults who do not or rarely drank coffee and those who increased their daily coffee consumption had an increased risk of developing MCI compared to moderate coffee consumers.
The researchers used mice to examine the effects of java on brain health. These studies suggested that caffeine could have a “neuroprotective” effect in diminishing damage from the buildup of amyloid protein plaques—long associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The research team said that although moderate levels of caffeine seem to enhance memory in rodents, higher levels may hinder it.
Further benefits of moderate caffeine intake may include boosting insulin sensitivity, decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to the researchers, diabetes has long been linked to an increased risk of memory loss.
Nevertheless, larger studies with longer follow-up periods need to be done to further support the claim that one of the world’s most popular drinks has the ability to help prevent dementia.