Millions of Americans drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and cola, to get their brain cells functioning every morning. But the caffeine may be doing even more than that for brain health. Researchers now believe that besides clearing cobwebs, caffeine may slow or halt the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study at the University of South Florida (USF) examined adults who were in the early stages of mental decline. The results revealed that those with higher levels of caffeine in their blood declined at a slower rate or did not decline at all. On the other hand, those who developed Alzheimer’s at a more rapid rate had a lower level of caffeine in the blood.
“These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee — about 3 cups a day — will not convert to Alzheimer’s disease — or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer’s,” notes lead author Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF College of Pharmacy and the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.