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Drinking coffee regularly 'could fight dementia'

Drinking coffee regularly 'could fight dementia'
27th November 2014

Drinking between three and five cups of coffee a day could be instrumental in the fight against dementia.

It's believed that the drink's caffeine content helps to prevent amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles forming in the brain, which are thought to be two harbingers of the disease.

A person's risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease could be slashed by 20 per cent by drinking coffee regularly, according to researchers from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee. 

Furthermore, it's believed that the hot beverage lowers inflammation and the rate of deterioration of brain cells - in particular, those linked to memory. 

The findings were originally presented at the Alzheimer's Europe Annual Congress in Glasgow last month, but have now been officially released. 

As well as coffee, the report highlights the virtues of a Mediterranean diet, which has also been linked with being beneficial for brain health. This typically involves fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and red wine.

Assistant professor in neuroepidemiology at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam Dr Arfram Ikram, who contributed to the study, said: "The majority of human epidemiological studies suggest that regular coffee consumption over a lifetime is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's, with an optimum protective effect occurring with three to five cups of coffee per day."

Vice-chairman of Alzheimer's Europe Dr Iva Holmerova called the results "very encouraging", especially because of coffee's enduring popularity with people across the globe. 

However, research officer at the Alzheimer's Society Jess Smith voiced her concerns that the link was not 100 per cent established.

She highlighted that there was no single way to fight dementia, but adhering to a healthy lifestyle was paramount, such as not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and exercising regularly. She also called for more studies to learn more about the role coffee could play. 

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes