What, coffee again Andrew?
Yup. Coffee again.
I know I’ve sung the praises of coffee, a time or two, because, why not? The stuff is delicious, it’s an excellent source of anti oxidants, it’s linked to a reduced risk of death – from all causes – and it helps keep your brain healthy.
Whoa, hang on a minute there; it helps keep your brain healthy?
I first got interested in the health benefits of my favourite beverages about 7, 8 years ago. The British Medical Journal published a study, which concluded that there is a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease in coffee and tea drinkers.
Now, as a regular coffee, and tea, drinker, this grabbed my attention. As a grandson, whose granny slowly lost her faculties over the final years of her life, this really grabbed my attention. Granny didn’t have Alzheimer’s, but she did slowly lose her cognitive abilities, including her memory. In her final year, she didn’t know who I was, she knew I was her grandson, but thought I was my older brother.
It was then, in my 20s that I realized the most important thing in my life was not my life, it was my marbles, and losing my marbles presented a much greater fear than losing my life. Now, 30 years later, I feel this even more strongly. I would sooner die, than lose my wife and kids while I still breathe.
Cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. These horrid diseases make victims of everyone involved, the patient, his family, and everyone he knows. Anything out there that might serve to help prevent this? I’m on board.
The results of the British study have been replicated as recently as 2017, by B M van Gelder, et al. Their conclusion, a significant reduction in cognitive decline is seen in older men, who consume 3 cups of coffee per day. Greater, or lesser, consumption saw a reduction in the beneficial effects.
Interestingly, that sweet spot of 3 cups per day was also seen in the overall mortality reductions. No significant change was seen above it.
Anyway, while these findings are awesome, what I don’t remember reading about was an underlying cause. Last week I stumbled upon an article, by Uma Naidoo, M.D., writing for Mindbodygreen.com, which gives 3 reasons for these effects:
- Caffeine: Caffeine increases serotonin and acetylcholine, which may stimulate the brain and help stabilize the blood-brain barrier.
- Polyphenols: Polyphenols in coffee may prevent tissue damage by free radicals, as well as brain blood vessel blockage.
- Trigonelline: High concentrations of trigonelline are found in coffee beans, which may also activate antioxidants, thereby protecting brain blood vessels.
So there you have it, not just another study saying that coffee is good for you, but an MD’s opinions as to how coffee is good for you.
So, what are you waiting for, sit back, relax, and have a nice, hot cup of coffee.