Drinking Coffee in Middle Age May Help Prevent Dementia Later in Life

Coffee for Mental Health
Coffee for Mental Health

STOCKHOLM, January 14th, 2009

Middle-aged people who drink moderate amounts of coffee–three to five cups daily–can significantly reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, a newly completed study by Finnish and Swedish researchers suggests.

“Middle-aged people who drank between three and five cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by between 60 and 65 percent later in life,” said research team-leader Dr. Miia Kivipelto, a professor at the University of Kuopio in Finland and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The study, which was conducted in league with the Finnish National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease this month. The research on coffee and its effect on the prevention of dementia in its various forms was based on successive interviews with 1,409 people in Finland during the span of two decades.

The subjects were first tested for cognitive abilities and asked about their coffee-drinking habits when they were in their 50s. Their memory functions were tested again in 1998, when they were between 65 and 79 years of age.

Of the 1,409 research subjects, total of only 61 had by then developed dementia, 48 of whom had the Alzheimer’s variety.

Dr. Miia Kivipelto reported, “There are perhaps one or two other studies that have shown that coffee can improve some memory functions (but) this is the first study directed at dementia and Alzheimer’s (and) in which the subjects are followed for such a long time.”

Coffee contains several antioxidants which are known to counteract Alzheimer’s disease.

Some studies have also shown that coffee helps protects the nervous-system, which can also protect against dementia. Previous studies suggested that coffee protects against diabetes, which is now linked to Alzheimer’s.


~~M-J, January 2009