Go for that third cup of coffee if you want (or even a few more) as new research finds up to five cups of coffee per day could help prevent the risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study published by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.
Associate Professor Elisabet Rothenberg, of Kristianstad University, and her team additionally concluded that the same mechanisms that energized reductions in Parkinson’s Disease risks, yielded the same associations with dementia-related illnesses. Although more research would need to be conducted to motion anything categorical, the correlation appears to survive on phytochemicals and polyphenols, two plant-based compounds independently established as valuable methods of mitigating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Their protective effects are actually more dramatic in men because estrogen potentially blunts the potency of caffeine.
Professor Rothenberg adds, “Neurodegenerative conditions such as AD and PD markedly change life conditions by successively impairing functional capacity, with profound effects on independence and well-being. Currently, no curative treatment is available, and therefore ways to reduce the risk of developing these conditions or relieve symptoms is laudable. At present research has shown promising results regarding the impact of lifestyle factors including diet. The Mediterranean diet has been of main interest. However, still, it is too early to draw firm conclusions regarding causal relationship between dietary factors and the risk of developing AD and PD. Further research is required.”
The reasoning behind coffee’s effect on dementia, in particular, remains unknown even though the new report’s findings have been posited several times in the past. Back in 2007, four studies (two case controls, two cohort reviews) determined that routine coffee consumption proffered a 30% decrease for developing AD by approximately 30%.
A follow up published in 2010, intimated that intake of three to five cups of coffee a day in middle age may lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by about 65%. In another study that used mouse models, it was revealed that the anti-inflammatory nature of caffeine actually attenuated cognitive impairment in rodents that hitherto expressed neurological deficits.
The broad conclusions have only been challenged twice; once by a Finnish study from a few years back that observed no positive or negative relationship between coffee consumption and dementia or cognitive decline and then again in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study.
From Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC): “The majority of studies suggest that regular coffee/caffeine consumption over a lifetime reduces the risk of developing AD, particularly in the elderly, however, some studies show varying results. It seems that coffee/caffeine consumption may be particularly beneficial before the occurrence of the disease i.e. during the pre-morbid phase.”
Preceding research provides possible mechanisms besides phytochemicals and polyphenols. Caffeine also has anti-inflammatory properties. Over a lifetime of consumption, coffee appears to advantageously contribute to increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production and cerebral blood flow. Neither are direct correlates of the pathology of dementia per se, but both are established markers of cognitive health.
The authors of the new study wrote, “Caffeinated coffee increased plasma levels of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF), which seemed to improve the cognitive performance of AD transgenic mice with the recruitment of bone marrow cells, enhanced synaptogenesis, and increased neurogenesis. Neither a caffeine solution alone nor decaffeinated coffee, provided this effect. There is an increasing number of experimental and human scientific studies suggesting a potentially protective role for caffeine – and potentially also for other coffee compounds e.g. anti-oxidants or anti-inflammatory agents – in the development of AD.