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July 18, 2011

Study: Coffee Protects Against Alzheimer's

Topics: Political News and commentaries

coffee_cup.JPGInterested in protecting yourself against the memory-robbing effects of Alzheimer's disease? According to a new study reported by scientists at the University of South Florida in Tampa, you can do so be drinking 4 to 5 cups a day of caffeinated coffee. The researchers found that the interaction boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to fight off the Alzheimer's disease process:

[...] The findings in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Using mice bred to develop symptoms mimicking Alzheimer's disease, the USF team presents the first evidence that caffeinated coffee offers protection against the memory-robbing disease that is not possible with other caffeine-containing drinks or decaffeinated coffee. Previous observational studies in humans reported that daily coffee/caffeine intake during mid-life and in older age decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The USF researchers' earlier studies in Alzheimer's mice indicated that caffeine was likely the ingredient in coffee that provides this protection because it decreases brain production of the abnormal protein beta-amyloid, which is thought to cause the disease.

The new study does not diminish the importance of caffeine to protect against Alzheimer's. Rather it shows that caffeinated coffee induces an increase in blood levels of a growth factor called GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor). GCSF is a substance greatly decreased in patients with Alzheimer's disease and demonstrated to improve memory in Alzheimer's mice. A just-completed clinical trial at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute is investigating GCSF treatment to prevent full-blown Alzheimer's in patients with mild cognitive impairment, a condition preceding the disease. The results of that trial are currently being evaluated and should be known soon....

Read the whole thing.]

Not a fan of coffee? You might consider drinking a cup or more of green tea each day, instead. Better yet, drink both tea and coffee (although coffee appears to provide for a lower risk for dementia and AD later in life).

Related: Alzheimer's disease and coffee: a quantitative review

Posted by Richard at July 18, 2011 3:44 PM

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