Q. Can drinking coffee help prevent Alzheimers?
A University of South Florida study has generated much publicity this summer. In order to achieve the Alzheimer’s protective effect in their laboratory mice, the researchers recommend a daily “moderate” intake of 4-5 cups of coffee per day, when most coffee consumers typically drink 1-2 cups per day.
Caffeine is considered to be the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world. While its stimulant properties are a valued phenomena in an achievement-oriented society, caffeine also has deleterious effects and can cause a wide range of side effects, either due to abuse or due to abrupt discontinuation of its use. This is already seen with the typical dose of 1-2 cups per day.
Moreover, studies (See Link 1, Link 2) are showing that high caffeine intake is associated with eating disorders, alcoholism, gambling, etc. Caffeine’s immediate effect strengthens impulsive behavior, bypassing the functions of reason and judgment, which is what distinguishes the human brain from all other mammals.
The NEWSTART® principle of temperance should be considered to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and use that which is healthful judiciously. If for the sake of staving off Alzheimer’s, I am willing to ingest a stimulant at a dose which my body is highly likely to become dependent upon, the risk far outweighs the benefit. Hence, as Dr. Ing recommends, avoid caffeine for the best health.
Other NEWSTART® principles which deserve attention in the prevention and/or slowing of Alzheimer’s:
- Choose plant based nutrition over diets high in cholesterol and saturated fat (See Link 1, Link 2, Link 3)