Midlife Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Alzheimer's Risk
According to a new study, consuming 3-5 cups of coffee daily in midlife lowers the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia by 65%.
The study, performed at the University of Kuopio, Finland in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland, examined the association between drinking coffee and tea midlife, and the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia later in life.
According to lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto, from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, "We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer's disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease."
A group of 1409 individuals were surveyed in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (in midlife), as part of the North Karelia Project and the FINMONICA study, aged 65 to 79. The participants were followed an average of 21 years. Study survivors were re-examined again in 1988 to compare rates of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, analyzing the amount of coffee and tea the group consumed via questionnaires.
Three groups of coffee drinkers were evaluated – those with low coffee consumption, moderate, or high, defined as 0-2 cups, 3-5 cups, and greater than 5 cups a day respectively. The researchers found no association between dementia and tea drinking, as well as few people who drank tea, but they did discover the lowest risk of Alzheimer's disease occurred in those who were moderate (3-5 cup) coffee drinkers in midlife.
Dr. Kivipelto says, "Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD [Alzheimer's disease]. It may be possible that simple dietary interventions can lower our risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
The researchers hope that the lower risk of Alzheimer's disease found in people who drink coffee moderately in midlife might lead to a better understanding of therapies that can prevent Alzheimer's disease.