Recent research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee daily may protect against developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, depression and more, according to reports from Science Daily. Animal studies at the University of Florida discovered an ingredient in coffee that interacts with caffeine and increases blood levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), a growth factor that that prevents the production of beta amyloid plaques, which are thought to be the causative factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers reported that daily consumption of caffeniated coffee by middle-aged and elderly individuals markedly lessens the risk of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s and coffee
Treatment with caffeinated coffee increases memory capacity in Alzheimer’s mice. The animals were treated with drip coffee and at the time of this article, scientists are unsure of the effects of instant coffee on the brain. Similar positive results were not evident in those mice treated with decaffeainated coffee or caffeine in other forms. Although testing was completed on mice, researchers have soon-to-be-released clinical evidence indicating coffee’s ability to protect humans against the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
It appears that four to five cups of caffeinated coffee daily are necessary to produce the increase in GCSF and protect against Alzheimer’s. This amount may seem high for the average American coffee drinker, who consumes approximately 1.5 to 2 cups daily. Researchers suggest that using coffee to protect against Alzheimer’s should start in early middle-age, between 30-50 years old; however, older people are also likely to benefit from consuming caffeinated coffee daily.
Additional benefits from coffee
Coffee is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which provide the body with additional ingredients to increase cognitive function to protect the brain; as well as protect against other diseases of aging, such as Type II diabetes, depression, stroke, and Parkinson’s. Studies also suggest coffee may help fight against breast, skin and prostate cancer.
Reports in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discusses the effects of caffeine in coffee regarding the prevention of Type II diabetes. Animal studies were performed on mice, which showed that caffeinated coffee helped control blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of developing the disease. Coffee also triggered other beneficial changes in their bodies, further reducing the risk of diabetes. Researchers believe that it is the caffeine in coffee that acts as an anti-diabetic compound.
Drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily may also lower the risk of depression in women by 15%, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine — and those who consume four or more cups daily have shown an even greater reduction in their risk of developing depression. Caffeine affects brain chemicals and is known to release mood-altering transmitters.
Additional studies at the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that men who drink six cups of coffee daily have a 20 to 60 percent decreased risk of developing several forms of prostate cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and indicated that even small quantities of coffee consumption can lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Many people are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, becoming nervous, jittery or unable to sleep. As with all good things, moderation is advised. Before introducing caffeinated coffee to your diet or greatly increasing existing quantities, consult a health care practitioner for the sake of your own health safety.
Additional information about treating Alzheimer’s disease can be found in this article: Homeopathic treatment slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Sources for this article include:
National Institute of Mental Health: Women and Depression: Discovering Hope
Journal of the National Cancer Institute; Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study; Kathryn M. Wilson, et.al; May 2011
Science Daily: Mystery Ingredient in Coffee Boosts Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds
Science Daily: New Evidence That Drinking Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Yamauchi et al.?Coffee and Caffeine Ameliorate Hyperglycemia, Fatty Liver, and Inflammatory Adipocytokine Expression in Spontaneously Diabetic KKMice; 2010
About the author:
JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle.