Tagged: Karolinska Institutet

Midlife coffee drinking may protect against Alzheimer’s disease

Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease (AD) later in life.

The study included participants previously surveyed…from 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (midlife visit)…and re-examination in 1998.

“We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease,” says lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto.

The study found that coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk for dementia and AD later in life compared to those drinking no or only little coffee. The lowest risk (65% decreased) was found among moderate coffee drinkers (drinking 3-5 cups of coffee/day)…Tea drinking was relatively uncommon and was not associated with dementia/AD.

Kivipelto also notes that, “Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD. The finding needs to be confirmed by other studies, but it opens the possibility that dietary interventions could modify the risk of dementia/AD. Also, identification of mechanisms of how coffee exerts its protection against dementia/AD might help in the development of new therapies for these diseases.”

A lot of science-speak there; but, I don’t think anyone will have a problem understanding what was learned.

Coffee has played an on-again, off-again, role in my casual life. I stopped altogether for a spell – when early studies at Harvard indicated a connection with pancreatic cancer. Very scary stuff. Final analysis said, Nope – no problem.

So, I returned to a cup or two – though I still tend to drink one more cuppa tea than coffee.

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