The Many Ways Coffee Just Might Save Your Life
New research reveals more protective benefits of our favorite drug
While it’d be an overstatement to claim that simple coffee pots are the long-sought fountains of youth, new research adds to a brewing case for coffee as one of the most underrated anti-aging drugs on the market.
Were coffee patented by big pharma, we’d see TV ads extolling its ability to lower the risks for heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. While the mostly mild side effects are being voiced in a speedy monotone, dreamy video would show coffee-chugging athletes outmaneuvering opponents and sharp-minded seniors breezing through crossword puzzles then quickly spotting and avoiding danger as they drive through a busy intersection and then, as a closer, remembering to turn off their blinker.
Truth is, coffee is all that. Or, at least, the science strongly suggests it is, even if firm proof of cause-and-effect remains elusive, as with most research on food and drink.
Keeping the brain sharp
Though it’s not clear how much coffee is too much, and research indicates that several cups a day are linked to longer life, much evidence supports serious benefits of at least moderate consumption.
People who drink two cups of coffee per day experienced 8% less cognitive decline over an 18-month period compared to those who have one cup, according to a new study in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The researchers think coffee helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease by slowing the accumulation of proteins called amyloids that form plaques that are toxic to the brain — an early sign of dementia.
While this new study did not examine the potential benefits of three or more cups, the two-cups-a-day crowd were better at executive brain functions — things like attention, planning and self-control. Coffee could be “an easy way” to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers conclude.
“It’s a simple thing that people can change,” says Samantha Gardener, PhD, a researcher at Edith Cowan University in Australia. “It could be particularly useful for people who are at risk of cognitive…