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Can Caffeine Prevent Alzheimers?

Posted by on Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Caffeine May Prevent Alzheimer's

Image from The Nutrition Post


Many people rely on that cup of joe to get themselves going in the morning. Studies about both risks and benefits of drinking coffee abound, but can that jolt of caffeine protect against Alzheimer’s? It may.

Scientists have been studying the affects of caffeine on the brain for many years now, and several studies show a correlation between caffeine consumption and decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009 found that consuming caffeine improves cognition and reduces amyloid plaques – the signature condition associated with Alzheimer’s – in mice that were already showing signs of cognitive impairment at the start of the study.

Caffeine May Prevent Alzheimer's

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More recently, the findings of a study conducted at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and published in the Journal of Neuroscience found a reason why caffeine may have such brain-protective qualities. The study concluded that caffeine has an ability to reduce inflammation in the brain, thus improving memory and cognition.  In this study, researchers cut off oxygen and blood flow – inducing a condition known as hypoxia – to mice’s brains, gave them time to recover, and then treated them with caffeine. The mice that were given caffeine recovered 33% faster than those not treated with caffeine. This study revealed caffeine’s ability to protect the brain against inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


Caffeine May Prevent Alzheimer's

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A recent study in Finland evaluated the affects of caffeine consumption on middle-aged people, who drank 3-5 cups of coffee daily. The results were remarkable. Even when controlled for ailments associated with Alzheimer’s, such as cardiovascular disease, the subjects had a 65% – 70% reduction in developing Alzheimer’s.

So, what does this mean? Naturally, studies in mice don’t always exactly translate to humans, so we need further testing. Additionally, according to the studies, we would need to consume five cups of coffee a day to receive the same Alzheimer’s-preventing affect as the mice, which is unreasonable for most folks.


Caffeine May Prevent Alzheimer's

Image from Impactlabs


Primarily, this research offers us hope that in addition to eating sensibly, we can find nutritional supplements using caffeine to help reduce or prevent brain inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s also one more reason why that morning pick-me-up may be more healthful than harmful overall. There are both risks and benefits to consuming caffeine. For example, caffeine can interfere with sleep, which is also very important for warding off Alzheimer’s. For now, it is best to evaluate your current health and talk to your physician about the benefits of drinking coffee and how much you should be consuming daily.


For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

3 Responses to “Can Caffeine Prevent Alzheimers?”

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