Alzheimer's Prevention: 1-2 Cups of Coffee Daily Prevents Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Aug 03, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

A cup or two of coffee may help seniors maintain a healthy brain. According to researchers from the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy, one to two cups of coffee everyday can help prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in seniors, reports Live Trading News. 

The Next Digit explains that MCI is a cognitive condition, which can eventually lead to either dementia or full-blown Alzheimer's Disease. The Italian study reveals that moderate consumption of coffee can help keep the brain healthy and prevent memory loss.

While the researchers have not proven a cause and effect relationship between coffee and memory loss or retention, their study has provided a link between the beverage and brain health. 

Researchers of the study believe that the caffeine found in coffee can protect neurons found in the brain from the gradual accumulation of amyloid protein plaques, which has been associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease. 

For the study, the Italian researchers observed around 1,000 people, who were between the ages of 65 and 84, for three and half years. The study was specifically geared towards how coffee affected the brain, in terms of memory loss or MCI.

After observation, the researchers found that the participants who usually consumed only one or two cups of coffee everyday had little or no risk of MCI, states Science World News. However, it seems that the key to accessing the health benefits is moderation. 

The Italian team also discovered that those who drank three or more cups of coffee everyday increased their risk of MCI. The same results were seen in participants who did not consume any coffee daily. 

As a result, the researcher of the study concluded: "Older individuals who never or rarely consumed Coffee and those who increased their Coffee consumption habits had a higher risk of developing MCI [compared with those who drank only 1-2 cups daily.]"

Other than the effects of coffee to the brain, the Italian research team also found that moderate coffee consumption could also help prevent type 2 diabetes. According to Live Trading News, caffeine increases insulin sensitivity in the aging brain, which incidentally also decreases the odds for type 2 Diabetes. 

The slight association between coffee and its benefits on the brain has encouraged the Italian research team to pursue a larger and longer study on the topic. 

"Larger studies with longer follow-up periods should be hopefully opening new ways for diet-related prevention of dementia and Alzheimer's disease," said the researchers.


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