Espresso and Alzheimer's: does caffeine reduce dementia?

Victor LitvinenkoLife
Espresso and Alzheimer's: does caffeine reduce dementia?

"Chilled coffee is poison," Italians joke as they recharge every morning with an exceptionally hot, flavorful espresso. Сoncentrated coffee is definitely not a poison and temperature has nothing to do with it," scientists say. According to Italian researchers, a high dose of caffeine can reduce the risk of dementia and even stop the development of dementia.

New laboratory studies have shown: caffeine in high concentrations inhibits the formation of toxic protein characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. How many cups and when to drink it to keep your mind clear?

No sludge in the soul, sludge at the bottom: coffee as medicine

A team of Italian scientists from the University of Verona conducted an in vitro laboratory study and found a link between high concentrations of caffeine and inhibition of the tau protein intrinsic to Alzheimer's disease. According to the study published in the ACS Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, high concentrations of caffeine may help reduce the risk of dementia.

In preliminary laboratory tests, scientists found that espresso compounds can eliminate a process linked to the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Caffeine slows down the aggregation of toxic proteins, thereby preventing or stopping the processes of dementia development.

As the concentration of caffeine increased, the toxic proteins did not form larger layers; with pure coffee extract, the tau proteins became non-toxic to the cells.

"This was an interesting study by a group of scientists from Verona who are trying to turn coffee consumption from a potential risk into a health benefit," California neurologist Clifford Segil, who was not involved in the study, commented on the matter.

Coffee therapy pitfalls

Adding high doses of caffeine to test tubes of tau protein has resulted in the toxic protein no longer being a dangerous substance, which is common in neurological diseases that cause memory loss and tremors. The goal of such laboratory studies is to develop an effective therapy that could prevent the disease," Dr. Segil says.

"Tau is present in patients with Alzheimer's dementia and Parkinson's disease. In this study, adding a coffee drink to a simple form of tau protein prevented tau protein aggregation, condensation and activity. However, it is unclear whether the experimental results will actually lead to a new therapeutic strategy against neurodegenerative conditions," the doctor says

Many current neurobiologists believe that these tau proteins may be more like freckles, which are more likely to be normal aging pigments rather than an accumulation that causes neurological disease, Segil notes.

Could antioxidants protect against dementia?

Coffee is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. This more often than not leads scientists to speculate that it may have therapeutic health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and brain disease.

Antioxidants alone are unlikely to provide complete protection against any disease or health condition, the neuroscientist says

"There are many antioxidant substances that have neuroprotective effects. Theoretically they could be beneficial to health, but claiming that coffee will protect someone from neurodegenerative disease is not acceptable at this stage."

Still, the study authors say the results of their in vitro experiment could pave the way for finding effective solutions against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. Caffeine is a driving force in that search," the scientists said. Thus, drink coffee and believe in the best!

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