Does coffee really lower risk of Alzheimer's disease?

Does coffee really lower risk of Alzheimer's disease?
Courtesy: Oscar Wong | Moment via Getty Images

Good news for those of us who can't face the day without an espresso. Drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, researchers claim.

A morning cup of joe not only has the power to jolt you awake, but caffeine consumption has previously been associated with lower risks of multiple health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Now, scientists from Edith Cowan University have conducted a long-term study involving more than 200 Australians and discovered an association between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens.

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"We found participants with no memory impairments and with higher coffee consumption at the start of the study had lower risk of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment – which often precedes Alzheimer's disease – or developing Alzheimer's disease over the course of the study," said lead investigator Dr Samantha Gardener.

Drinking more coffee gave positive results in relation to certain aspects of cognitive function, specifically executive function which includes planning, self-control, and attention.

And while further research is needed, Dr Gardener asserted that the findings are encouraging as they indicate drinking coffee could be an easy way to help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

"It's a simple thing that people can change," she continued. "It could be particularly useful for people who are at risk of cognitive decline but haven't developed any symptoms.

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"We might be able to develop some clear guidelines people can follow in middle age and hopefully it could then have a lasting effect."

Full study results have been published in ‘Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience’.

(Cover Media/Reuters)

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