A new long-term study led by researchers from Edith Cowan University further supports the hypothesis that coffee intake may be a protective factor against Alzheimer’s disease, where increased coffee consumption can potentially reduce cognitive decline.
“Worldwide, a high percentage of adults drink coffee daily, making it one of the most popular beverages globally,” said lead author Dr. Samantha Gardener from Edith Cowan University and the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and her colleagues from Australia and the United States.
“Coffee contains a variety of bioactive compounds, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, polyphenols and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.”
“Epidemiological studies suggest that coffee has beneficial effects on a variety of conditions, including stroke, heart failure, cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.”
“Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive impairment of learning, memory and other cognitive deficits, with extracellular deposition of Aβ-amyloid (Aβ) protein in the brain leading to neuroinflammation, synaptic loss and neuronal death,” they added.
“Several studies suggest a protective role for coffee, with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are limited longitudinal data from cohorts of cognitively normal older adults describing associations of coffee consumption with different cognitive domains while investigating potential neuropathological mechanisms. , which supports such associations. “
In the new research, the authors examined whether self-reported usual coffee intake affected the rate of cognitive decline in 227 older adults over 126 months.
The study was conducted using data from the well-characterized Australian imaging, biomarkers and lifestyle study of aging (AIBL).
“The results showed a link between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Gardener.
“We found that participants without memory impairment and with higher coffee consumption at the start of the study had a lower risk of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment – which often precedes Alzheimer’s disease – or of developing Alzheimer’s disease during the study.”
“Drinking more coffee yielded positive results in relation to certain domains of cognitive function, specifically executive function, which include planning, self-control and attention.”
“Higher coffee intake also appeared to be associated with slowing the accumulation of the amyloid protein in the brain, a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The researchers were not able to distinguish between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, nor the benefits or consequences of how it was prepared (brewing method, the presence of milk and / or sugar, etc.).
“It’s a simple thing that people can change,” said Dr. Gardener.
“It can be especially helpful for people who are at risk for cognitive decline but who have not developed any symptoms.”
“We may be able to develop some clear guidelines that people can follow in the Middle Ages, and hopefully that can then have a lasting effect.”
“If you only give yourself one cup of coffee a day, the study indicates that you may be better off pampering yourself with an extra cup, even if a maximum number of cups a day that provided a beneficial effect was not possible. to determine from the investigation. “
“If the average cup of coffee made at home is 240 g, an increase to two cups a day could potentially lower cognitive decline by 8% after 18 months.”
“It could also see a 5% decrease in amyloid accumulation in the brain over the same time period.”
The study was published in the journal Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience.
Samantha L. Gartner et al. Higher coffee consumption is associated with slower cognitive decline and less cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation over 126 months: Data from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers, and Lifestyle Study. In front of. Aging Neurosci, published online November 19, 2021; doi: 10.3389 / fnagi.2021.744872