Caffeine May Be Good For Your Brain

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(Washington, DC, December 10, 2008) —Your morning cup of coffee may be more than just an eye-opener. Research has confirmed that sleep-deprived individuals have improved memory and reasoning after consuming caffeine. Plus, research has also linked moderate levels of caffeine to a reduced rate of cognitive decline in women, as well as reduced risk of certain brain and nerve diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

According to a recent study, women who consumed at least three cups of caffeinated coffee per day (approximately 300 mg) had a slower rate of cognitive decline than women who consumed one cup or less. This benefit has been attributed to the caffeine in the coffee and appears to increase with age.

Another potential benefit relates to Alzheimer’s disease. A progressive and fatal brain disease, Alzheimer’s can cause forgetfulness, disorientation and personality changes. However, research has shown that caffeinated coffee may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s or slow its progression. Studies conducted on the aging population have provided evidence of these effects. However, more research is needed to determine just how caffeine might reduce Alzheimer’s risk.

Caffeine may also help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is characterized by nerve cell loss in the brain, which can cause reduced mobility and/or tremors. Several studies have found an association between regular consumption of caffeinated coffee and reduced risk of Parkinson’s. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, and this research may offer a way to help reduce the risk. However, more research is needed to determine caffeine’s specific benefits.

These benefits for the brain and nervous system have been observed at moderate levels of up to 300 mg of caffeine per day. Certain groups of individuals, such as children, pregnant women and those with a history of cardiovascular disease, may be more sensitive to caffeine’s effects and should discuss their caffeine consumption with their health care provider. For more information, visit  

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