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Drinking Coffee May Put the Brakes on Cognitive Decline


woman enjoying coffee Researchers across numerous disciplines and countless studies have found that polyphenols from natural foods provide a protective effect against many disease processes, especially those compounds that are known to cross the blood-brain barrier to promote brain health and slow the rate of cognitive decline and dementia.

Interestingly, scientists are now able to add coffee to the short list of compounds that may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Prior studies have demonstrated that resveratrol (red grapes and wine), curcumin (curry spice), EGCG (green tea) and cocoa polyphenols provide a synergistic effect to lower the risk of premature brain aging.

Coffee Polyphenols Shown to Prevent Brain Plaque and Tangles that Promote Alzheimer’s Disease

Lead researcher, Dr. Iva Holmerova commented, “Cognitive decline is a feature of ageing, and although some changes can be expected in all of us, there is some evidence that diet and lifestyle may be related to cognition.” Epidemiologic findings show that regular, life-long moderate coffee consumption (three to five cups per day) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The body of evidence suggests that coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of developing the disease by up to 20 percent. This research highlights both caffeine and coffee polyphenols with their ability to prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Holmerova concluded, “The findings presented in this report are very encouraging and help to develop our understanding of the role nutrition can play in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee is a very popular beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world and I’m pleased to know that moderate, lifelong consumption can have a beneficial effect on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.” In addition to regularly eating a Mediterranean diet and supplementing with compounds such as resveratrol, curcumin and EGCG, drinking 3 to 5 cups of black coffee each day may provide a significant layer of protection against developing Alzheimer’s dementia.

Mediterranean Diet and 3 to 5 Cups of Coffee Eeach Day May Provide Protection Against Brain Aging and Dementia

Ask any middle-aged adult what disease they fear the most as they pass the age of 50, and it is more than likely they will include cancer and heart disease, but place dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at the top of the list.

Due largely to lifestyle and dietary indiscretions over the course of many years and decades, decline in cognitive function and, ultimately, the development of Alzheimer’s disease affects more than half of all octogenarians to some degree, a startling statistic for a condition that may be prevented earlier in life by limiting excess dietary sugar, environmental hazards and consuming a small group of ‘super foods’ known to provide the body with specific compounds that easily cross the blood-brain barrier to promote optimal brain health.

The startling facts are that nearly one in twenty adults aged 65 and over currently suffer from some degree of Alzheimer’s disease, a number that researchers believe may double by the year 2050. Scientists attending the 2014 Alzheimer’s Europe Annual Congress highlighted the role nutrition can play in preserving cognitive function, especially during the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s, before symptoms of dementia occur.

In addition to coffee, several other foods have been studied for their ability to effectively break up and eliminate the brain plaque that is the hallmark of Alzheimers disease, such as curcumin and cinnamon. The Mediterranean diet, consisting of fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and red wine, was also touted due to its focus on vegetables, fruits, proteins and monounsaturated fats along with elimination of sugars and hydrogenated fat sources.


John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives. Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource

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