How Drinking MORE COFFEE can Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

How Drinking MORE COFFEE can Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease


This article is a review of a long-term study out of the Edith Cowan University that has revealed drinking higher amounts of coffee may make you less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Cognitive Decline

As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of aging, researchers from Edith Cowan University in Perth Western Australia investigated whether coffee intake affected the rate of cognitive decline of more than 200 Australians over a decade.


Lead investigator Dr. Samantha Gardener, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University said “Results showed an association between coffee and several important markers related to Alzheimer's disease. 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."

Cognitive Function Domains

Drinking more coffee gave positive results in relation to certain domains of cognitive function, specifically executive function which includes planning, self-control, and attention. Higher coffee intake also seemed to be linked to slowing the accumulation of the amyloid protein in the brain, a key factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Gardener said that “Although further research was needed, the study was encouraging as it indicated 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. 

It could be particularly useful for people who are at risk of cognitive decline but haven't developed any symptoms. We might be able to develop some clear guidelines people can follow in middle age and hopefully it could then have a lasting effect."

Make it a Double!

If you only allow yourself one cup of coffee a day, the study indicates you might be better off treating yourself to an extra cup, although a maximum number of cups per day that provided a beneficial effect was not able to be established from the current study.

Dr Samantha Gardner noted, "If the average cup of coffee made at home is 240 grams, increasing to two cups a day could potentially lower cognitive decline by eight percent after 18 months. It could also see a five percent decrease in amyloid accumulation in the brain over the same time period."

Amyloid Clumps

In those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the amyloid clumps together forming plaques which are toxic to the brain. The study was unable to differentiate between caffeinated and de-caffeinated coffee, nor the benefits or consequences of how it was prepared (brewing method, the presence of milk and/or sugar etc.).

Dr. Gardener said “The relationship between coffee and brain function was worth pursuing. We need to evaluate whether coffee intake could one day be recommended as a lifestyle factor aimed at delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease.”

More than Just Caffeine

Researchers are yet to determine precisely which constituents of coffee are behind its seemingly positive effects on brain health. Though caffeine has been linked to the results, preliminary research shows it may not be the sole contributor to potentially delaying Alzheimer's disease.

"Crude caffeine" is the by-product of de-caffeinating coffee and has been shown to be as effective in partially preventing memory impairment in mice, while other coffee components, such as cafestol, kahweol and Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide have also been seen to affect cognitive impairment in animals in various studies.

Current Recommendations

So, this study intimates that if you drink one cup a day, going up to 2 may well help. A quick search on Microsoft Bing came up with this information from the FDA and the Mayo clinic. 400 milligrams a day seems to be the agreed limit, the FDA say that’s about 4 or 5 cups and the Mayo Clinic say that’s roughly 4, of course there are so many variables when it comes to brew strength and cup size it would be difficult to state a single number when it comes to how exactly many cups a day equates to 44 milligrams.


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