We all feel a bit more lucid and awake after our morning cup. And, it’s true, coffee has all sorts of benefits for your brain. Better motor control, more alertness, protection from diseases like Parkinson’s, to name a few; yes, coffee truly is incredibly beneficial for your brain. And now, another significant benefit! A new study has linked regular consumption of coffee to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
This new study isn’t too surprising, of course. Other studies have found that coffee promotes cognitive resilience, something that also guards against Alzheimer’s. Moreover, dark roast specifically appears to be particularly beneficial for the brain.
What’s the link?
After hearing about these benefits, researchers from Edith Cowan University started a study exploring the link between coffee consumption and Alzheimer’s. As a part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study on age, the researchers followed about 200 participants for just over a decade.
The Edith Cowan researchers discovered a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s if you drank coffee and an association between coffee and several important Alzheimer’s markers.
How does it work?
Consuming more coffee was linked with slowing down amyloid proteins. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Samatha Gardener, in the brain, amyloid proteins are “a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease”, according to the lead researcher, Dr. Samatha Gardener. Samantha also noted that “participants with no memory impairments and with higher coffee consumption at the start of the study had a lower risk of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment—which often precedes Alzheimer’s disease—or developing Alzheimer’s disease over the course of the study.”
Caff or decaf?
These effects are not just down to caffeine, either. Though caffeine has a link to brain health, this study found no difference in the benefits when participants preferred decaf to standard. Furthermore, it didn’t even matter whether participants drank instant, French press, Moka pot, or latte—all preparations gave the same effects over time.
More research needs to be carried out to prove a definitive link between drinking coffee and having a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. But this is a reassuring piece of research in favor of coffee for brain health.