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Cup Of Coffee A Day May Cut Dementia Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture

A small cup of coffee a day may decrease the risk for developing dementia.

A team of researchers from University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences conducted a study on rabbits to see how caffeine affects dementia development.

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These rabbits were given a high cholesterol diet and 3mg of caffeine, which is the same amount of caffeine contained in a cup for an average sized person. Cholesterol is known to damage blood brain barrier, which is to protect central nervous system. Central nervous system itself is being damaged by blood-borne contamination, and if the damage is significant it causes neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's.

Research showed, that blood brain barrier in rabbits on the 12th week of the study was significantly weakened in those taking cholesterol rich food. However, those taking daily dose of caffeine together with cholesterol rich food showed greatly protected blood brain barrier.

Jonathan Geiger from University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences said: "Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky. High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood-brain barrier. For the first time we have shown that chronic ingestion of caffeine protects the blood brain barrier from cholesterol-induced leakage."

It was previously shown that caffeine protects against memory loss in older adults. This study is first of its kind showing how coffee protects blood brain barrier from and prevents neurological disorders. However, more researchers is needed to see how beneficial caffeine in humans is and what stage patients can benefit from it.