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Coffee: wake up with an Alzheimer’s preventative
Scientific Computing ^ | 6/24/11

Posted on 07/18/2011 12:54:45 PM PDT by null and void

A yet unidentified component of coffee interacts with the beverage’s caffeine, which could be a surprising reason why daily coffee intake protects against Alzheimer’s disease. A new Alzheimer’s mouse study by researchers at the University of South Florida found that this interaction boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to fight off the Alzheimer’s disease process.

The findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Using mice bred to develop symptoms mimicking Alzheimer’s disease, the USF team presents the first evidence that caffeinated coffee offers protection against the memory-robbing disease that is not possible with other caffeine-containing drinks or decaffeinated coffee. Previous observational studies in humans reported that daily coffee/caffeine intake during mid-life and in older age decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The USF researchers’ earlier studies in Alzheimer’s mice indicated that caffeine was likely the ingredient in coffee that provides this protection because it decreases brain production of the abnormal protein beta-amyloid, which is thought to cause the disease.

The new study does not diminish the importance of caffeine to protect against Alzheimer’s. Rather it shows that caffeinated coffee induces an increase in blood levels of a growth factor called GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor). GCSF is a substance greatly decreased in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and demonstrated to improve memory in Alzheimer’s mice. A just-completed clinical trial at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is investigating GCSF treatment to prevent full-blown Alzheimer’s in patients with mild cognitive impairment, a condition preceding the disease. The results of that trial are currently being evaluated and should be known soon.

“Caffeinated coffee provides a natural increase in blood GCSF levels,” said USF neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, lead author of the study. “The exact way that this occurs is not understood. There is a synergistic interaction between caffeine and some mystery component of coffee that provides this beneficial increase in blood GCSF levels.”

The researchers would like to identify this yet unknown component so that coffee and other beverages could be enriched with it to provide long-term protection against Alzheimer’s.

Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated Compared


In their study, the researchers compared the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee to those of caffeine alone. In both Alzheimer’s mice and normal mice, treatment with caffeinated coffee greatly increased blood levels of GCSF; neither caffeine alone or decaffeinated coffee provided this effect. The researchers caution that, since they used only “drip” coffee in their studies, they do not know whether “instant” caffeinated coffee would provide the same GCSF response.

The boost in GCSF levels is important, because the researchers also reported that long-term treatment with coffee (but not decaffeinated coffee) enhances memory in Alzheimer’s mice. Higher blood GCSF levels due to coffee intake were associated with better memory. The researchers identified three ways that GCSF seems to improve memory performance in the Alzheimer’s mice. First, GCSF recruits stem cells from bone marrow to enter the brain and remove the harmful beta-amyloid protein that initiates the disease. GCSF also creates new connections between brain cells and increases the birth of new neurons in the brain.

“All three mechanisms could complement caffeine’s ability to suppress beta amyloid production in the brain” Cao said, “Together these actions appear to give coffee an amazing potential to protect against Alzheimer’s — but only if you drink moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee.” Although the present study was performed in Alzheimer’s mice, the researchers indicated that they’ve gathered clinical evidence of caffeine/coffee’s ability to protect humans against Alzheimer’s and will soon publish those findings.

How Many Cups?


Coffee is safe for most Americans to consume in the moderate amounts (4 to 5 cups a day) that appear necessary to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. The USF researchers previously reported this level of coffee/caffeine intake was needed to counteract the brain pathology and memory impairment in Alzheimer’s mice. The average American drinks 1½ to 2 cups of coffee a day, considerably less than the amount the researchers believe protects against Alzheimer’s.

“No synthetic drugs have yet been developed to treat the underlying Alzheimer’s disease process” said Gary Arendash, the study’s other lead author. “We see no reason why an inherently natural product such as coffee cannot be more beneficial and safer than medications, especially to protect against a disease that takes decades to become apparent after it starts in the brain.”

The researchers believe that moderate daily coffee intake starting at least by middle age (30s – 50s) is optimal for providing protection against Alzheimer’s disease, although starting even in older age appears protective from their studies. “We are not saying that daily moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from getting Alzheimer’s disease,” Cao said. “However, we do believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of this dreaded disease or delay its onset.”

The researchers conclude that coffee is the best source of caffeine to counteract the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s because its yet unidentified component synergizes with caffeine to increase blood GCSF levels. Other sources of caffeine, such as carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and tea, would not provide the same level of protection against Alzheimer’s as coffee, they said.

Potential Cognitive Benefits of Natural Ingredients


Coffee also contains many ingredients other than caffeine that potentially offer cognitive benefits against Alzheimer’s disease. “The average American gets most of their daily antioxidants intake through coffee,” Cao said. “Coffee is high in anti-inflammatory compounds that also may provide protective benefits against Alzheimer’s disease.”

An increasing body of scientific literature indicates that moderate consumption of coffee decreases the risk of several diseases of aging, including Parkinson’s disease, Type II diabetes and stroke. Just within the last few months, new studies have reported that drinking coffee in moderation may also significantly reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers.

“Now is the time to aggressively pursue the protective benefits of coffee against Alzheimer’s disease,” Arendash said. “Hopefully, the coffee industry will soon become an active partner with Alzheimer’s researchers to find the protective ingredient in coffee and concentrate it in dietary sources.”

Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic Calls for Preventive Measures


New Alzheimer’s diagnostic guidelines, now encompassing the full continuum of the disease from no overt symptoms to mild impairment to clear cognitive decline, could double the number of Americans diagnosed with some form of the disease to more than 10 million. With the baby-boomer generation entering older age, these numbers will climb even more unless an effective preventive measure is identified. “Because Alzheimer’s starts in the brain several decades before it is diagnosed, any protective therapy would obviously need to be taken for decades,” Cao said. “We believe moderate daily consumption of caffeinated coffee is the best current option for long-term protection against Alzheimer’s memory loss. Coffee is inexpensive, readily available, easily gets into the brain, appears to directly attack the disease process, and has few side-effects for most of us.”

According to the researchers, no other Alzheimer’s therapy being developed comes close to meeting all these criteria. “Aside from coffee, two other lifestyle choices — physical and cognitive activity — appear to reduce the risk of dementia. Combining regular physical and mental exercise with moderate coffee consumption would seem to be an excellent multi-faceted approach to reducing risk or delaying Alzheimer’s,” Arendash said. “With pharmaceutical companies spending millions of dollars trying to develop drugs against Alzheimer’s disease, there may very well be an effective preventive right under our noses every morning – caffeinated coffee.”

This USF study was funded by the NIH-designated Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the State of Florida.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: alzheimers; coffee; darkshearescoffeee
Coffee Gargoyl

Need I say more?

1 posted on 07/18/2011 12:54:51 PM PDT by null and void
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To: null and void

I switched to decaf, but can’t remember why...........


2 posted on 07/18/2011 12:58:40 PM PDT by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: Lakeshark

LOL!


3 posted on 07/18/2011 1:00:34 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: null and void

Can’t tolerate caffeine drinks. My heart races. Oh, well.


4 posted on 07/18/2011 1:02:29 PM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it's the new black. Mmm mmm mmm...)
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To: null and void
The article says you need to drink 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day or more for it to have a preventative effect. I was doing that anyway and it was tearing my insides out. So I had to reduce to a cup a day. Now I feel great. I guess I'll have to find a better way to prevent Alzheimer's.

5 posted on 07/18/2011 1:02:46 PM PDT by Genoa (Starve the beast.)
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To: null and void

My dad-in-law was a coffee fanatic....

it didn’t keep him from getting Alzheimers and getting it bad.


6 posted on 07/18/2011 1:02:50 PM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: null and void

Okay, well, I’ve got to up the physical activity part. I’m pretty well covered for caffeinated coffee and have been for decades.


7 posted on 07/18/2011 1:03:32 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Vaquero

Did he smoke?


8 posted on 07/18/2011 1:05:54 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: Pride in the USA
Oops, the study I mentioned to you about caffeine as an Alzheimer's preventative is specific to the caffeine found in coffee. You may find this of interest.

The researchers believe that moderate daily coffee intake starting at least by middle age (30s – 50s) is optimal for providing protection against Alzheimer’s disease, although starting even in older age appears protective from their studies. “We are not saying that daily moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from getting Alzheimer’s disease,” Cao said. “However, we do believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of this dreaded disease or delay its onset.”

The researchers conclude that coffee is the best source of caffeine to counteract the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s because its yet unidentified component synergizes with caffeine to increase blood GCSF levels. Other sources of caffeine, such as carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and tea, would not provide the same level of protection against Alzheimer’s as coffee, they said.

9 posted on 07/18/2011 1:07:42 PM PDT by lonevoice (Life is short. Make fun of it.)
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To: netmilsmom

I believe he smoke many years before I knew him...


10 posted on 07/18/2011 1:09:13 PM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: null and void

And this study will be operative for about two months when another ‘study’ will claim just the opposite.


11 posted on 07/18/2011 1:22:42 PM PDT by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: null and void

Sorry, I gave it up 20 yrs ago when the MSM had me convinced it was going to kill me. /sarc


12 posted on 07/18/2011 1:27:55 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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13 posted on 07/18/2011 1:30:56 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
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To: Vaquero

>>I believe he smoke many years before I knew him...<<

Let me start this by stating that I am not a smoker. However, I believe that the push to quit smoking will have a direct link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Nicotine and Niacin are chemically very close. I think that when people smoke then quit, they are actually depriving their bodies of something akin to niacin. Niacin, it is now being found, improves bloodflow and cholesterol.

People who quit smoking need niacin. Pushing people to give up coffee as they did a few years ago and to quit smoking leads to this uptick in the disease.

Just my theory.


14 posted on 07/18/2011 1:31:23 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: null and void

I’m 80 and I drink lotsa black Peet’s coffee, everyday!

That’s five or so 8 oz cups.


15 posted on 07/18/2011 1:32:44 PM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Genoa

I should be in good shape then. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 9 years old and currently drink a pot in the morning and sometimes a cup or so after dinner at night.

I took NSAID’s for several years as I had early on onset rheumatoid arthritis. It ruined my stomach. Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with it and so far is working great. After I’m done drinking my coffee, or if I’ve eaten something spicy, I pour a 9 or 12 oz. bottle of ice cold water on it. Just a glass of room temperature water doesn’t do it. It has to be ice water.

Not only that it prevents the little shakey racy in my chest and wow does it clear up the thinking processes.

Also, I’m starting to think, but haven’t discussed the possibility with my doctor yet, that drinking ice water helps somehow with the inflamation, maybe by keeping the soft tissue better lubricated. I’ve been experiencing less of the aggravating pain in my hands.

I’m starting to think ice water is the elixir of life.

Sorry, didn’t mean to go so hypocondrial on you, lol But I think it does help.


16 posted on 07/18/2011 1:35:01 PM PDT by RowdyFFC
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To: null and void

Yeah, but that’s 1 to 2 American-sized cups of coffee people are drinking a day.


17 posted on 07/18/2011 1:35:13 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: netmilsmom

Did you see the comment in the article that coffee helps prevent diabetes? So does keeping weight down, as people age. Cigarettes and coffee, with their attendant risks (like aspirin and tylenol) may together help with a host of degenerative disease linked to aging.


18 posted on 07/18/2011 1:35:13 PM PDT by Judith Anne ( Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: null and void

19 posted on 07/18/2011 1:36:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: RowdyFFC

Your ice water idea sounds great. I drink ice water with dinner every night, it does help me eat a bit less and in general it feels pretty good.

Have you ever tried Alka-Seltzer for your RA? Has a regular dose (650 mgs) of aspirin, and protection for your stomach. I have had RA for approx 10 years, and I’ve taken it during flares for real help.


20 posted on 07/18/2011 1:43:19 PM PDT by Judith Anne ( Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: Genoa
The article says you need to drink 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day or more for it to have a preventative effect. I was doing that anyway and it was tearing my insides out. So I had to reduce to a cup a day. Now I feel great. I guess I'll have to find a better way to prevent Alzheimer's.

It may be the type of coffee you were using, or some other factor such as overall body hydration.

Normally, I can drink coffee up to a certain limit beyond which I get a queasy, jumpy feeling. Where we lived for a few years down in Louisiana, there was this guy who ran a coffee shop and I could drink his coffee as strong as he could make it yet never felt queazy, or jumpy.

He was a real purist who carefully selected his beans and roasted what he would need for the day each morning. I always liked to get his belgian mocha which he made by melting bars of belgian chocolate.

If I didn't get much sleep the previous night, or if we were about to get in the car to drive up to Ohio to visit family, I'd order the belgian mocha with a double shot of espresso. It would keep me going all day in a very alert state without the queazy, jumpy feeling I normally get when drinking large quantities of coffee in order to combat fatigue.

I've often wondered what it was about it that kept me from feeling queazy and jumpy? Was it the bean variety, the fresh roast, or was there something about the chocolate? Perhaps it was a little of each.

21 posted on 07/18/2011 1:49:33 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Judith Anne

Oh thanks, no I never thought of that and I’ll keep it in mind if I have a serious flare up, which I do once in a while when the kids insist on extra spicy fajita meals, lol Especially if I had a couple of days eating rich food and not paying attention to what I’m eating. It usually happens when my kids are here on vacation and they like to eat out a lot as well as have Mom’s best rich pasta meals.

I’ll have to get some and try it.


22 posted on 07/18/2011 1:58:21 PM PDT by RowdyFFC
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To: null and void

Drink good coffee. You can sleep when you are dead.


23 posted on 07/18/2011 1:59:26 PM PDT by NautiNurse (TSA Tit for Tat--Yukari Mihamae--thank you!)
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To: Judith Anne

I fully agree with you.

But we’re not going to hear about the cigarette link at all.


24 posted on 07/18/2011 2:01:05 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
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To: RowdyFFC

Be sure to get the regular old Alka, NOT the cold remedy one. As a matter of fact, generic works just fine.


25 posted on 07/18/2011 2:02:37 PM PDT by Judith Anne ( Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: netmilsmom

It won’t even be researched.


26 posted on 07/18/2011 2:04:18 PM PDT by Judith Anne ( Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: NautiNurse
Drink good coffee.

I drink a very nice medium roast Papua New Guinea.

You can sleep when you are dead.

I hope so...

27 posted on 07/18/2011 2:10:35 PM PDT by null and void (Day 909. When your only tools are a Hammer & Sickle, everything looks like a Capitalist...)
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