Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Coffee lowers Alzheimer's and colon cancer risk

Alzheimer's Disease
A recent study monitoring the memory and thinking processes of people older than 65 found that all those with higher blood caffeine levels avoided the onset of Alzheimer's disease in the two-to-four years of study follow-up. Moreover, coffee appeared to be the major or only source of caffeine for these individuals. Researchers say this provides the first direct evidence that caffeine/coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia or delayed onset. Their findings appeared in the June issue of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee -- about 3 cups a day -- will not convert to Alzheimer's disease -- or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer's.

A study tracking the health and coffee consumption of more than 400,000 older adults for 13 years, and published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that coffee drinkers reduced their risk of dying from heart disease, lung disease, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, infections, and even injuries and accidents.

Colorectal Cancer
Researchers in the June issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated coffee and tea intakes (caffeinated and decaffeinated) in relation to colon (proximal and distal) and rectal cancers using the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study including 489,706 men and women over a median of 10.5 years of follow-up.

Compared with nondrinkers, drinkers of 4–5 cups coffee and more than 6 cups coffee per day had a lower risk of colon cancer, particularly of proximal tumors. Results were similar to those overall for drinkers of predominantly caffeinated coffee. No associations were observed for tea.

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