Cognitive and neuroprotective benefits associated with coffee in older adults

coffeeA new longitudinal study on aging has reinforced the protective benefits of including its cognitive and neuroprotective benefits. The study analyzed the data on 1,445 people between the ages of 65-84 and found that people without any health problems classified as cognitively normal had a lower amount of , (MCI), when drinking moderate amounts of , compared to people who never or rarely drank .

Higher consumption of was associated with a higher rate of . For cognitively normal older subjects who changed their consumption habits, those increasing consumption (more than one 1 /day) had higher rate of the incidence of MCI compared to those with constant habits (up to -/+ 1 /day) (HR: 1.80, 95% CI: 1.11 to 2.92) or those with reduced consumption ( 2 cups of /day) and the incidence of MCI in comparison with those who never or rarely consumed (HR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.03 to 2.11).

The researchers associate the protective benefits of with the activation of adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs), which might assist in mitigating damage done by beta-amyloid (the material that forms on the brains of people with Alzheimer’s). Previous human and mice studies have shown that moderate caffeine consumption can improve memory, while too much caffeine can give you the jitters and actually impair your memory. has been linked in the past to reducing the risk of , which is a risk factor for cognitive decline.

“These findings… suggested that cognitively normal older individuals who never or rarely consumed and those who increased their consumption habits had a higher risk of developing MCI,” the authors said. “Therefore, moderate and regular consumption may have neuroprotective effects… confirming previous studies on the long-term protective effects of , tea, or caffeine consumption and plasma levels of caffeine against cognitive decline and dementia.”

“Larger studies with longer follow-up periods should be encouraged, addressing other potential bias and confounding sources, so hopefully opening new ways for diet-related prevention of dementia and AD,” the authors said.


Source: Solfrizzi V, Panza F, Imbimbo B, D’Introno A, Galluzzo L, Gandin C. Consumption Habits and the Risk of : The Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2015.

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