3 to 5 Cups of Coffee a Day May Lower Risk of Heart Attacks

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10 Healthy Reasons to Drink Coffee

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Your daily cup of coffee may be doing more for you than providing that early-morning pick-me-up. The health impact of coffee has long been a controversial topic, with advocates touting its antioxidant activity and brain-boosting ability, and detractors detailing downsides such as insomnia,indigestion and an increased heart rate and blood pressure. But the latest wave of scientific evidence brings a wealth of good news for coffee lovers. Here are ten reasons drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought.

1. Coffee is a potent source of healthful antioxidants.

In fact, coffee shows more antioxidant activity than green tea and cocoa, two antioxidant superstars. Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Numerous studies have cited coffee as a major–and in some cases, the primary–dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.

How it works: Antioxidants fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, atherosclerosis and many types of cancer. They also neutralize free radicals, which occur naturally as a part of everyday metabolic functions, but which can cause oxidative stress that leads to chronic disease. In other words, antioxidants help keep us healthy at the micro-level by protecting our cells from damage. Finally, chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, is also thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

2. Caffeine provides a short-term memory boost.

When a group of volunteers received a dose of 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, about as much contained in a single cup of coffee, Austrian researchers found a surge in the volunteers’ brain activity, measured by functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI), as they performed a memory task. The researchers noted that the memory skills and reaction times of the caffeinated volunteers were also improved when compared to the control group who received a placebo and showed no increase in brain activity.

How it works:  Caffeine appears to affect the particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short-term memory, although it’s not clear how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.

3. Coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.

In addition to providing a temporary boost in brain activity and memory, regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. In one promising Finnish study, researchers found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily at midlife was associated with a 65 percent decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in later life. Interestingly, the study authors also measured the effect of tea drinking on cognitive decline, but found no association.

How it works: There are several theories about how coffee may help prevent or protect against cognitive decline. One working theory: caffeine prevents the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque that may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Researchers also theorize that because coffee drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for dementia, it also lowers the risk for developing dementia.

4. Coffee is healthy for your heart.

A landmark Dutch study, which analyzed data from more than 37,000 people over a period of 13 years, found that moderate coffee drinkers (who consumed between two to four cups daily) had a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease as compared to heavy or light coffee drinkers, and nondrinkers.

How it works: There is some evidence that coffee may support heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.

5. Coffee may help curb certain cancers.

Men who drink coffee may be at a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. In addition, new research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that drinking four or more cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of endometrial cancer in women by 25 percent as compared to women who drank less than one cup a day. Researchers have also found ties between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

How it works: Polyphenols, antioxidant phytochemicals found in coffee, have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties in several studies and are thought to help reduce the inflammation that could be responsible for some tumors.

6. Coffee may lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A growing body of research suggests an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of diabetes. A 2009 study found that the risk of developing diabetes dropped by 7 percent for each daily cup of coffee. Previous epidemiological studies reported that heavy coffee drinkers (those who regularly drink four or more cups daily) had a 50 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than light drinkers or nondrinkers.

How it works: Scientists believe that coffee may be beneficial in keeping diabetes at bay in several ways:  (1) by helping the body use insulin and protecting insulin-producing cells, enabling effective regulation of blood sugar; (2) preventing tissue damage; and (3) and battling inflammation, a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  One component of coffee known as caffeic acid has been found to be particularly significant in reducing the toxic accumulation of abnormal protein deposits (amyloid fibrils) found in people with type 2 diabetes. Decaffeinated coffee is thought to be as beneficial, or more so, than regular.

Note: There is some evidence that coffee decreases the sensitivity of muscle cells to the effects of insulin, which might impair the metabolism of sugar and raise blood sugar levels.  The significance of this finding, however, is still unclear.

7. Your liver loves coffee.

It’s true: In addition to lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated an inverse correlation between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of cirrhosis–a 20 percent reduction for each cup consumed (up to four cups).

How it works: Scientists found an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and blood levels of liver enzymes. Elevated levels of liver enzymes typically reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee subjects drank, the lower their levels of enzymes.

8. Coffee can enhance exercise performance.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that caffeine is dehydrating, one of the primary reasons why fitness experts recommend nixing coffee pre- and post-workout. However, recent research suggests that moderate caffeine consumption–up to about 500 mg, or about 5 cups per day–doesn’t dehydrate exercisers enough to interfere with their workout. In addition, coffee helps battle fatigue, enabling you to exercise longer.

How it works: Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the exerciser’s perception of pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance.

9. Coffee curbs depression.

Multiple studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression in both men and women.  In several studies, the data suggested an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and depression: in other words, heavy coffee drinkers seemed to have the lowest risk (up to 20 percent) of depression.

Read: Coffee: Will a cup a day help keep the doctor away?

How it works: Researchers aren’t yet sure how coffee seems to stave off depression, but it is known that caffeine activates neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin.

10. Coffee guards against gout.

Independent studies on the coffee consumption patterns of men and women suggest that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of developing gout. Researchers in the Nurses’ Health Study analyzed the health habits of nearly 90,000 female nurses over a period of 26 years and found a positive correlation between long-term coffee consumption and a decreased risk for gout. The benefit was associated with both regular and decaf consumption: women who drank more than four cups of regular coffee daily had a 57 percent decreased risk of gout; gout risk decreased 22 percent in women who drank between one and three cups daily; and one cup of decaf per day was associated with a 23 percent reduced risk of gout when compared to the women who didn’t drink coffee at all. Similar findings have been documented for men: another large-scale study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that men who drank four to five cups of coffee per day decreased their risk of gout by 40 percent, and that those who consumed six cups or more lowered gout risk by 60 percent.

How it works: According to the Nurses’ Health Study, coffee’s antioxidant properties may decrease the risk of gout by decreasing insulin, which in turn lowers uric acid levels (high concentrations of uric acid can cause gout).

The Cons of Coffee Drinking

The potential health benefits of drinking coffee are exciting news, but that doesn’t mean more is better. For some people, coffee can cause irritability, nervousness or anxiety in high doses, and it can also impact sleep quality and cause insomnia. In people with hypertension, coffee consumption does transiently raise their blood pressure–although for no more than several hours–but no correlation has been found between coffee drinking and long-term increases in blood pressure or the incidence of cardiovascular disease in patients with pre-existing hypertension.

Caffeine affects every person differently, so if you experience any negative side effects, consider cutting your coffee consumption accordingly. It takes about six hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off, so limit coffee drinking to early in the day, or switch to decaf, which only contains about 2 to 12 mg of caffeine per eight ounces. Always taper your coffee consumption gradually. Avoid quitting coffee cold turkey; doing so can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms that may include severe headache, muscle aches and fatigue which can last for days.

How to Keep It Healthy

So how much coffee is healthy, and how much is too much? Two to three eight-ounce cups per day is considered moderate; heavy coffee drinkers consume four cups or more daily. Remember, the amount of caffeine per coffee beverage varies depending upon the preparation and style of beverage. Eight ounces of brewed coffee may contain as little as 80 to as much as 200 mg of caffeine per cup (an “average” cup probably contains about 100 mg).

Your best bet: Skip the fat-filled, sugar-laden coffeehouse beverages and order a basic black coffee. Alternatively, switch to skim milk or unsweetened soy or nut milk.

Editor’s Note: As much as we all love coffee, it’s important to recognize that even the most rigorous scientific studies are subject to bias–especially ones that examine something as beloved and economically important as coffee–so, by all means, enjoy your morning habit, but interpret these findings with caution.

References

Good news for coffee drinkers: the health benefits outweigh the risks for most people


By Morgan Wharton and Jessica Cote
Updated 2015

latte-249102_640Most Americans drink coffee every day.1 The caffeine in coffee helps us stay alert but also may cause jitteriness and interfere with sleeping. A few studies suggest that decaffeinated coffee also has health benefits, perhaps because of antioxidants or acids in the coffee bean.2

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING COFFEE?

For years medical experts advised people to drink less coffee, mostly because of research suggesting coffee might increase the risk of heart disease. However, numerous studies conducted recently have discovered coffee’s unexpected health benefits. Like all well-designed research, most of these studies considered the impact of age, sex, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, tobacco use, and whether family members had developed cancer. By controlling for those factors, researchers made sure they could separate coffee’s impact on health from the effects of people’s lifestyle, family history, and previous health problems.

Colorectal Cancer

Meta-analyses are a kind of statistics that combine data from several comparable studies to make one very large study. These results are usually more accurate than any one study can be. Taken together, three meta-analyses suggest that drinking about four or more cups of coffee per day may reduce the chances of getting colorectal cancer by 11-24%.345

Endometrial (uterine) Cancer

Using data from 67,470 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 25% less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who drank only one cup of coffee per day. Compared to women who did not drink any coffee, those who drank four cups or more per day were 30% less likely to develop endometrial cancer. Decaffeinated coffee was just as effective as caffeinated coffee, but caffeinated tea did not lower the risk of endometrial cancer.6

Liver Cancer And Cirrhosis (Scarring of the Liver/Chronic Liver Disease)

One study found people who drank one or two cups of coffee per day had a slightly lower risk of getting the most common type of liver cancer compared to non-drinkers, but people who drank three or four cups of coffee were about half as likely as non-drinkers to get this kind of liver cancer. Meanwhile, people who drank five or more cups per day had an even lower risk than that (about one-third the risk of non-drinkers).7

Similarly, a study in Japan found a 76% decrease in the risk of that type of liver cancer in people who drank at least five cups of coffee per day compared to those who did not drink coffee. The strongest benefit was seen in individuals with hepatitis C, a disease which increases a person’s risk of developing liver cancer, although the researchers were not sure why.8

A study of 120,000 Americans over an 8-year period found a 22% decrease in the chances of developing cirrhosis for each daily cup of coffee. In Norway, a 17-year study of 51,000 citizens found that those who drank two or more cups of coffee per day were 40% less likely to develop cirrhosis compared to those who did not consume coffee.9

Skin Cancer

Using data from two enormous studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers found that men and women who drank more than three cups of caffeinated coffee per month were 17% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma compared to people who drank less than one cup per month. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and least dangerous type of skin cancer. Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not affect basal cell carcinoma.10

A 2014 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that the more coffee participants drank, the less likely they were to develop malignant melanoma over a 10 year period. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Almost 450,000 whites, aged 50-71, participated in the study. Researchers found that drinking four or more cups of coffee per day was linked to a 20% lower risk of getting malignant melanoma. Once again, drinkers of decaffeinated coffee lost out. Their risk of getting melanoma was no different from that of non-coffee drinkers. Coffee drinking, however, did not affect the least dangerous form of melanoma, called melanoma in situ.

Remember that no matter how much coffee with caffeine you drink, the best way to prevent skin cancer is still to limit your time exposed to the sun and ultraviolet light! 11

Type 2 Diabetes

People in Finland consume more coffee than almost any other nation, and a study of 14,000 people over 12 years  found that men who drank 10 or more cups of coffee daily had a 55% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than men who drank 2 cups of coffee a day or fewer.  Even more dramatic, women who drank 10 or more cups per day had a 79% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who drank fewer than 2 cups daily.12

A different Finnish study of 5,000 sets of identical twins found that individuals who drank more than seven cups of coffee per day had a 35% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than their twins who drank two cups or fewer per day.13 Because identical twins are so biologically similar, the difference in disease risk is very likely caused by coffee consumption levels. Studies of fewer people in other countries have found less dramatic but similarly positive results.

Parkinson’s Disease

A study of more than 8,000 Japanese-American men found that men who did not drink coffee at all were three to five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease within 30 years than men who drank four and a half cups or more of coffee per day.14

Suicide

Because suicide may be related to alcohol intake, medications, and stress levels, suicide studies took those factors into account.  A 10-year study of 128,000 people in California found that the risk of suicide decreased by 13% for every additional cup of coffee consumed per day. Even one cup of coffee per day seemed to reduce the risk of suicide. A different 10-year study of 86,000 women found a 50% lower risk of suicide for those who drank two or more cups of coffee per day compared to women who did not drink coffee.15

Brain Power and Aging

A study of 676 healthy men born between 1900 and 1920 suggested that coffee helped with information processing and slowed the cognitive decline typical of aging. Cognitive functioning was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination, a 30 point scale. Men who regularly consumed coffee experienced an average decline of 1.2 points over 10 years, while men who did not drink coffee saw a decline of 2.6 points over 10 years. Men who drank three cups of coffee per day declined only 0.6 points over 10 years.16

Even old mice are sharper with caffeine: a study using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease showed that coffee actually reversed the cognitive decline and slow-down in processing that occurred with age. Mice given caffeine in their water showed signs of recovering their memory during testing.17

WHAT ABOUT THE RISKS?

Childbearing

Two separate studies found that 300 mg of caffeine (two to three cups of coffee) decreased a woman’s chances of getting pregnant by more than a third. This same amount of coffee also increased the chances of women having low birth-weight babies by 50%. These studies took into account potentially influential  factors such as contraception used in the past and infertility history.18

Hip Fracture 

According to data from the Nurses’ Health Study, women aged 65 and over who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had almost 3 times as many hip fractures over the next six years as women who did not drink coffee. Researchers took important factors into consideration such as how much calcium the women consumed each day.19

Parkinson’s Disease among post-menopausal women taking estrogen-only hormone therapy

Other researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study to evaluate the risk of Parkinson’s disease among women who drank coffee while using estrogen medication after menopause. For women who were NOT using estrogen therapy, those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were about half as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as women who did not drink coffee. For women who did use post-menopausal estrogen, however, those who drank four or more cups of coffee were about twice as likely as those who didn’t drink coffee to develop Parkinson’s.20

Heart Disease

Two different meta-analyses found that people who drank five or more cups of coffee per day were 40-60% more likely to develop heart disease compared to those who did not drink coffee at all. Other studies have also shown that high coffee use (five to ten cups per day) increases the risk of heart disease, while moderate consumption (three to four cups daily) was not associated with a higher risk. Only coffee drinkers who consumed more than nine cups a day had a greater risk of dying from heart disease.21 It is important to consider that people drinking close to 10 cups of coffee a day are likely to have other health problems, such as stress or sleep deprivation, and this could contribute to higher risk of heart disease and death regardless of coffee use.

BOTTOM LINE

For most people, drinking coffee seems to improve health more than harm it. Many of coffee’s health benefits increase with the number of cups per day, but even one cup a day lowers the risk of several diseases. However, women who want to get pregnant or already are pregnant and women over 65 should probably limit their coffee intake because, in their case, the risks may outweigh the health benefits.

Even though many studies show coffee has benefits, it’s still not clear why. How can one popular beverage help metabolism (for example, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes) and also protect against a range of cancers? Until further research can solve that puzzle, most adults should continue to enjoy their cup (or two, or three) of Joe. Finally, remember that nearly all studies on coffee and health have been done on adults. Coffee may affect children and teens differently.

  1. Cadden ISH, Partovi N, Yoshida EM. Review article: possible beneficial effects of coffee on liver disease and function. Alim Pharmacol Therap 2007; 26(1): 1-8.  
  2. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  3. Giovannucci E. Meta-analysis of Coffee Consumption and Risk of Colorectal Cancer. Am J Epidem 1998; 147(11): 1043-1052.  
  4. Yu X, Bao Z, Zou J, Dong J. Coffee consumption and risk of cancers: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. BMC Cancer 2011; 11(96):1-11.  
  5. Je Y, Liu W, Giovannucci. Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Int J Cancer 2009; 124:1662-1668.  
  6. Je Y, Hankinson SE, Tworoger SS et al. A Prospective Cohort Study of Coffee Consumption and Risk of Endometrial Cancer over a 26-Year Follow-Up. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2011; 20(12): 2487-2495.  
  7. Cadden ISH, Partovi N, Yoshida EM. Review article: possible beneficial effects of coffee on liver disease and function. Alim Pharmacol Therap 2007; 26(1): 1-8.  
  8. Inoue M, Yoshimi I, Sobue T, Tsugane S. Influence of Coffee Drinking on Subsequent Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Prospective Study in Japan. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2005; 97(4):293-300.  
  9. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  10. Song F, Qureshi AA, Han J. Increased Caffeine Intake is Associated with Reduced Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Skin. Cancer Research 2012; 72: 3282-3289.  
  11. Loftfield E, Freedman N D, Graubard B I, Hollenbeck A R, Shebl F M, Mayne S T, Sinha R. Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2015; 107(2). dju421doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju421  
  12. Tuomilehto J, Hu G, Bidel S et al. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Among Middle-aged Finnish Men and Women. The Journal of the American Medical Association 2004; 291(10):1213-1219.  
  13. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  14. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  15. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  16. Van Gelder BM, Buijsse B, Tijhuis M, et al. Coffee consumption is inversely associated with cognitive decline in elderly European men: the FINE Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007; 61(2):226-32.  
  17. Arendash W, Cao C. Caffeine and Coffee as Theraputics Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2010; 20: S117-S126.  
  18. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  19. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  
  20. Ascherio A, Weisskopf MG, O’Reilly EJ, McCullough ML, Calle EE, Rodriguez C, Thun MJ. Coffee Consumption, Gender, and Parkinson’s Disease Mortality in the Cancer Prevention Study II Cohort: The Modifying Effects of Estrogen. American Journal of Epidemiology 2004; 160(10):977-984.  
  21. Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2006; 46(2): 101-123.  

Drinking Coffee May Delay Alzheimer’s Disease

Drinking Coffee May Delay Alzheimer’s Disease

Study Adds to Growing List of Health Benefits Associated With Coffee
By 
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

grandmother drinking coffee

June 7, 2012 — Drinking three cups of coffee per day may help turn the tide against Alzheimer’s disease among older adults who are already showing signs of memory problems, a new study shows.

According to the findings, people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than their counterparts with lower caffeine levels. The findings will appear in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Symptoms include serious memory loss, confusion, and mood changes that develop gradually and worsen with time.

The new study included 124 people aged 65 to 88 who had mild cognitive impairment, which is the medical term for mild memory loss. About 15% of people with MCI develop full-blown Alzheimer’s disease each year.

coffee and alz

In the study, blood levels of caffeine were more than 50% lower among people with MCI who developed Alzheimer’s during follow-up, when compared with their counterparts who did not worsen. Coffee was the main, or only source, of caffeine among people in the study.

No one with mild memory loss who later developed Alzheimer’s had initial blood caffeine levels above 1,200 ng/ml. This is equivalent to drinking several cups of coffee a few hours before giving blood. People whose memory loss did not progress all had blood caffeine levels higher than this level, the study shows.

“Continue to drink coffee,” says researcher Chuanhai Cao, PhD. He is a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida’s College of Pharmacy and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa. “There is no reason to stop if you are experiencing memory problems.”

There may even be a reason to start for people in their late 30s and up, he says. “Aim for an average of three, 8-ounce cups of coffee per day in the morning after eating breakfast.”

 Coffee May Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

Exactly how coffee helps delay the development of Alzheimer’s is not known, but Cao has a theory. It involves beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

old-women-drinking-coffee-300x224

“Beta-amyloid doesn’t cause Alzheimer’s,” he says. “We are born with this protein in our brains.”

So what goes wrong? This protein accumulates or aggregates in the brain because it is no longer sufficiently metabolized with advancing age. “Your system can’t handle all of it and leftover protein accumulates in the brain.”

Enter your daily cups of joe. “Caffeine inhibits the production of beta-amyloid, so your system only metabolizes all of the available protein,” Cao says.

Put another way: There are no leftovers.

Coffee may have other important health benefits as well. Research has shown that it can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s diseasestroketype 2 diabetes, and breast cancer.

am Gandy, MD, PhD, reviewed the new findings for WebMD. He is the Mount Sinai chair in Alzheimer’s disease research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

“There is some support for this observation,” he says via email.

“There are basic science studies from our lab and from other labs showing that a substance called cyclic AMP can reduce formation of amyloid, and it is well known that caffeine elevates cyclic AMP levels.”

What’s more, “attention is a key component of memory, and it is well established that caffeine increases attention. Thus, it is conceivable that caffeine improves memory by virtue of its effects on memory.”

But, Gandy adds, the jury is still out on how or if caffeine affects risk for Alzheimer’s. “Before we can recommend any drug (even caffeine), we must test the drug in randomized clinical trials. That would be the obvious next step for the caffeine story.”

Live Longer: Strategies To Add Extra Years To Your Life

Live Longer: Strategies To Add Extra Years To Your Life

 

Live Longer

By Corrie Pikul

While we’re waiting for some brilliant chemist to discover the elixir for eternal life, these simple, doable strategies can help you buy a little extra time.

1. Stand up while reading articles like this one… and (especially) while watching TV. Australian researchers determined that every hour of couch-potato-ness docks 21.8 minutes from a person’s life.

2. Join a book club. People with a solid group of friends are 50 percent more likely to survive at any given time than those without one, found Carlin Flora while researching her book Friendfluence. Researchers from Brigham Young University calculated that being a loner is an equivalent mortality risk to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, says Flora — even riskier than being obese or not exercising.

3. Better yet, join a French Words et Wine or Mandarin for Beginners group. Canadian scientists used CT scans to compare the brains of bilingual and monolingual Alzheimer’s patients and found that being able to speak multiple languages seemed to keep patients cognitively agile for longer. Protective benefits start in childhood, but the research suggests that picking up a new language later in lifemay also help stave off dementia.

4. Nurture your java habit. Drinking four cups of brewed coffee (or the amount of caffeine that you’d get in one Starbucks venti) a day has been linked to as much as a 50 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a 25 percent lower risk ofendometrial cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk for depression. (Keep in mind that this daily amount may cause those who are new to the coffee habit to feel jittery and have trouble sleeping).

5. … or fill your mug with tea. In a study of more than 40,500 Japanese men and women, those who drank five or more cups of green tea every day had the lowest risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Other studies involving black tea showed similar results — but adding milk may cancel out tea’s cardiovascular benefits. Whatever color tea you choose, drink it black, or with honey and lemon.

Top Ways To Live a Long, Health Life!

TOP TIPS TO LIVE A LONG, HEALTHY LIFE

There aren’t any shortcuts to living healthily; and life comes with no guarantees – but here is an interesting infographic from Confused.com that illustrates some ideas that might see you living a healthier, longer life.

Source: Confused.com

Scenic-route-to-a-longer-life