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Study: With exceptions, moderate coffee drinking may help protect against mild cognitive impairment

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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 moreDoes 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.”

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