Five Cups a Day
There’s more evidence that a few cups of coffee may help the aging brain, particularly avoid the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Florida researchers have found that the equivalent of five cups of coffee, delivering 500 milligrams of caffeine, reversed early memory issues in mice bred to develop Alzheimer-like symptoms, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The caffeine cut the amount of beta-amyloid which leads to plaque in the brain, characteristic of human Alzheimer’s disease. After two months of a caffeine regimen, the mice scored as well on memory tests as normal mice. The research is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Coffee is generally safe but should not be consumed in excess by those with high blood pressure of pregnant women. More than two cups of coffee daily have been found to double the rate of miscarriage.
“The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable ‘treatment’ for established Alzheimer’s disease, and not simply a protective strategy,” says lead author Gary Arendash of the University of South Florida. The research was conducted at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Tampa.
Even mice that already had high levels of beta-amyloid in their brains, additional coffee treatment resulted in lower beta-amyloid levels. Those findings suggest individuals with Alzheimer’s disease could benefit from moderate amounts of daily coffee intake.
“If I was in a family that had the familial form of Alzheimer’s, where half of individuals have it by age 60, I would definitely be taking in 500 mgs of caffeine a day and I would be doing it in coffee” said Dr. Arendash.
Caffeine did not improve memory for mice not bred to develop Alzheimer’s.
The researchers previously found that beta amyloid levels were reduced in elderly people without dementia. The center also found in an earlier study that those who consumed more caffeine during the 20 years preceding disease diagnosis should caffeine had some protection against Alzheimer’s development.
The research funding came from the National Institute of health and the state of Florida, not any coffee companies. #