Drinking more coffee over time may lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a new study suggests. Researchers found that that extra cup of coffee can mildly impair your brain functions which may lead to life-long consequences.
The research team wanted to assess the link between coffee consumption and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). They found that participants who changed their coffee drinking habits in time and added at least one extra cup were at higher risk of developing MCI than their peers that stuck with only one cup per day.
Mild cognitive impairment is described by the medical literature as a condition which appears before Alzheimer’s or dementia sets in.
The study involved nearly 1,500 participants who were selected from more than 5,000 individuals surveyed during the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Scientists learned that healthy people with no cognitive conditions who increased their coffee consumption were twice more likely of developing MCI than their peers with less coffee consumption.
So, individuals who drank one more cup of coffee, had a heightened risk of cognitive decline than people who drank less than one cup per day. Plus the former’s risk of MCI increased in comparison with participants who reported drinking one cup of coffee per day but on a daily basis.
Additionally, participants who had a constant habit of drinking 1 or 2 cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of MCI than their peers who consumed coffee from time to time. This link was not observed in people that had a constant habit of drinking more than two cups of coffee daily.
Vincenzo Solfrizzi, co-author of the study and professor at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, in Italy, explained that drinking coffee moderately but, most important, regularly may shield the brain from the damage produced by aging processes. Same effects were observed by other studies in patients with a habit of consuming green tea or other caffeine-based products.
The study revealed that the combination between rare and high consumption of the dark beverage, which means more than 2 cups daily, may boost the risk of mild cognitive impairment.
Caffeine may also protect the brain from tiny ischemic lesions, and may improve insulin tolerance which can prevent patients from developing type 2 diabetes, which is also linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline.
A paper on the new findings was published this week in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Image Source: Medical Daily
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