Yet another study shows that coffee with caffeine helps protect against Alzheimer ’s disease. Can’t have too many of these studies that show our favorite beverage not only tastes good but is also good for us. The latest study, conducted at the University of Southern Florida, was reported online and will be published in a June 26 journal. Using “Alzheimer mice” - who presumably did nothing but lay around drinking coffee all day – the researchers identified the process that seems to protect against the disease, but not the actual ingredient in coffee. It seems that the mystery ingredient, which is found in caffeinated coffee and not decaf, boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to fight off the Alzheimer’s disease process. The ingredient is also not found in caffeinated drinks or energy drinks with added caffeine. The researchers point out that though the study was done on mice, they have evidence showing that the same paradigm seems to operate in humans as well. They state that the coffee needs to be drunk in moderation, which to the researchers means four to five cups daily. In this amount, Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. There are other substances in coffee that are anti-inflammatory and are therefore beneficial not only for the brain but for many systems in the body. ‘ “No synthetic drugs have yet been developed to treat the underlying Alzheimer’s disease process” said Dr. Gary Arendash, one of the study’s lead authors. “We see no reason why an inherently natural product such as coffee cannot be more beneficial and safer than medications, especially to protect against a disease that takes decades to become apparent after it starts in the brain.” ‘ The researchers added that in addition to daily consumption of coffee, daily physical and cognitive activity should be engaged in. “We believe moderate daily consumption of caffeinated coffee is the best current option for long-term protection against Alzheimer’s memory loss. Coffee is inexpensive, readily available, easily gets into the brain, appears to directly attack the disease process, and has few side-effects for most of us.”
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