The research published in Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience found that the beverage reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
pouring coffee into white mug with heart
Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Coffee is a morning staple, and if you enjoy the beverage regularly, then we've got some good news for you: According to recent research published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, those who consume coffee may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (a type of dementia that causes gradual memory loss).

The researchers came to their findings after studying 227 older adults (about 69 years of age) over the course of 10 years. The participants filled out questionnaires that detailed their coffee consumption habits in addition to health-related questions linked to six cognitive domains: episodic recall memory, recognition memory, executive function, language, attention, and processing speed. Volunteers also completed the AIBL Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (PACC) and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure their brain volume and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans to check their accumulation of Aβ-amyloid 7 different times. The team found that those who drank coffee slowed their Aβ-amyloid accumulation and had a low chance of "moderate", "high", or "very high" Aβ-amyloid development, which cuts oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. 

"Our estimates suggest that if the average cup of coffee made at home is 240 g, increasing intake from 1 to 2 cups per day could provide up to 8% decrease in executive function decline over an 18-month period, and up to 5% decrease in cerebral Aβ-amyloid (the sticky protein that clumps together in the brain, killing neurons, in Alzheimer's disease) accumulation over the same time period," Samantha L. Gardener, study author out of Edith Cowan University, told PsyPost. "However, finding a maximum number of beneficial cups of coffee is a question for future research which we were not able to identify in the current study. Unfortunately, there will be a limit whereby more cups will not produce any further positive effects."

The scientists are still figuring out which coffee ingredient is most helpful in protecting the brain, but they think caffeine could be the key. Otherwise, they are keeping additional factors in mind for further studies. "Our study did not have data on mid-life coffee consumption, consequently potential positive or negative effects of coffee intake at midlife cannot be assessed in the current study," Gardener said. "It was also not possible for us to determine the potential consequences of varying methods of coffee preparation (e.g., decaffeinated coffee, brewing method, with or without milk or sugar etc.) on the associations observed, so these are both major methodological points to include in future research."

"Worldwide, a high proportion of adults drink coffee daily, making it one of the most popular beverages globally. In the absence of effective disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease, our research is looking at modifiable risk factors that could delay the onset of the disease," said Gardener. "Even a 5-year delay would have a massive social and economic benefit, and these dietary modifications are generally accessible to all as well as being less expensive than medications and with less side effects."


Be the first to comment!