Coffee habits linked to memory, brain health in seniors (CBS News):
“In the study, a team led by Dr. Vincenzo Solfrizzi of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, looked at the coffee consumption of 1,445 Italians aged 65 to 84. The participants’ mental health was also tracked for a median of three-and-a-half years…the research team found that people who consistently drank about one or two cups of coffee per day had a lower rate of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than those who never or rarely drank the brew.
The beneficial association was not found among people whose habitual coffee intake exceeded two cups per day, Solfrizzi’s group added.
And in what they called an “interesting” finding, the researchers found that the rate of MCI actually rose over time for seniors who bumped up their daily intake by a cup of coffee or more daily. Those participants had a rate of MCI that was about one-and-a-half times higher than that of long-term, moderate coffee drinkers (one to two cups per day) whose daily intake didn’t increase.”
To learn more: Does Coffee Boost Brain/ Cognitive Functions Over Time?
“There is little doubt that drinking that morning cup of coffee will likely increase alertness, but the main questions that research is trying to answer go beyond that. Basically: is there a sustained, lifetime, benefit or harm from drinking coffee regularly?
The answer, so far, contains good news and bad news. The good news for coffee drinkers is that most of the long-term results are directionally more positive than negative, so no clear harm seems to occur. The bad news is that it is not clear so far whether caffeine has beneficial effects on general brain functions, either short-term or long-term (aged-related decline or risks of dementia).
It is important to note that many of the studies showing an effect of coffee consumption on brain functions or risks of dementia report a correlation or association (they are not randomized clinical trials). As you know, correlation doesn’t prove causation: coffee drinkers may seem to do well in a number in these long-term studies, but there may be other reasons why coffee drinkers do better.”