Are you a coffee person? Do you know that over 2 billion people drink coffee everyday?! There are many benefits of coffee, and this article will tell you about the effect that coffee consumption has, on Alzheimer’s disease. Keep reading.
Do you wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee every morning? Does a steaming cup of coffee provide the kick you need, to start off your day? If yes, then rejoice! Researchers have recently added another factor to the list of health benefits of coffee. It now seems to be a potential viable treatment for the irreversible Alzheimer’s disease. Many experiments are being carried out on people as well as animals, to ascertain the effects of caffeine on memory. And, an as yet unidentified component of coffee, helps reduce the levels of a protein in our brain, which is thought to cause Alzheimer’s…
A Little about Alzheimer’s Disease
Before trying to understand what is the cure for Alzheimer’s, let us first understand what this disease implies. Once we know that, we’ll be better able to understand how to combat it. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease associated with memory. Short term memory is the first to be affected, followed by long term memory. It starts off with the person forgetting small things like keys, having lunch, forgetting some occasions, etc., and then gradually progresses to a stage where he/she cannot even remember their addresses, family members and friends, and even their own name. The last stage is when, even basic things like brushing, bathing, eating cannot be carried out by them, and they become disoriented, utterly confused, suspicious, moody, and completely incapable of caring for themselves.
Alzheimer’s disease has many indefinite causes ranging from genetic, hereditary, environmental, to build up of a particular protein in the brain cells. Although a cure is being worked on, it is better to keep in mind that right now, Alzheimer’s disease is not curable (symptoms can be cured, but not the disease itself). The only thing that can be done, is delaying its onset as much as possible. One of the causes of Alzheimer’s is the build up of a protein fragment called ABeta. These protein clusters slowly kill the brain cells, and that is what causes loss of memory, leading to Alzheimer’s. One reason for the increase in the chronic buildup of ABeta, is lack of sleep, since the production of ABeta has a circadian rhythm (increases when awake, and falls when asleep). Here is where coffee can help in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. Let’s find out how…
How Coffee Helps in Combating Alzheimer’s Disease
Improvement in Functioning of the Brain
Our brain remains sharper for longer, the more stimulation you give it. Other than the known methods of stimulating the brain, like solving puzzles, logical problems, etc., coffee is known to stimulate the brain. On a daily basis, the caffeine in coffee helps keep you alert and remove the cobwebs from your mind. That is precisely why, students swear by a cup of coffee taken before they sit down to study! It helps in better focusing. Stimulation of the brain on a daily basis, in any way, helps delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
*It is important to note that although coffee helps in stimulating the brain, it is not an alternative to the intellectual methods of stimulation (puzzles, Sudoku, scrabble, etc.). It is not enough by itself, it is complimentary to these primary methods, in proroguing the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Helps in Reducing the Production of ABeta
Experiments conducted on mice indicate that, those given water with coffee perform much better than those given only water, when tested for memory. It was found, that coffee helps counter the production of ABeta, thus helping in delaying Alzheimer’s. An unidentified component of coffee (other than the main components, quinine and caffeine), is the reason for this. And research is on to find which component exactly is responsible. So, although this is seems like a contradiction of sorts, the deal is that, coffee helps us stay awake, but without aiding the build up of the protein ABeta. Coffee guards us against the harmful effects of this protein, by activating the detoxification pathways in our system.
Growth Factor and Other Components
The blood levels in a growth factor commonly known as Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (GCSF), are low in Alzheimer’s patients as compared to others. Caffeine increases the blood levels in this growth factor, helping ward off Alzheimer’s. The anti-Inflammatory compounds and the antioxidants present in coffee also help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Another research conducted on humans, showed that those who had developed Alzheimer’s, had consumed a lot less caffeine in the past two decades of their lives, than those who had not.
Daily Coffee Intake
Statistics reveal that the average American drinks around 2 cups of coffee on a daily basis. According to the reports presented in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the actual amount required is around 5 cups daily! This was, again, concluded by the research carried out on mice. They were administered a daily dose of 500 milligrams of caffeine, and positive effects were seen in their memory over a couple of months. Translated in human terms, this is equivalent to almost 5 medium cups of coffee. Though it may seem like too much to consume in a single day, we have to remember that the caffeine content in every cup is a lot less than the actual amount of coffee. There are a lot of varieties of coffee to choose from, so go get your daily dose!