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A friendly sip of coffee


Introduction

While savouring Colombian coffee in a chic South Kolkata café our eyes fell on a statement displayed on a wall claiming that consumption of coffee may help in arresting dementia and Alzheimer. We were intrigued and thus, decided to do a bit of study on our own and understand whether it is indeed so. The following sections attempt to summarize the findings.


Findings

a) A research paper published in Nutrition (Volume 32, Issue 6, June 2016, Pages 628-636) on “Habitual coffee consumption and risk of cognitive decline/dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies” concluded by stating that the study suggested higher coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk for Alzheimer disease. However, it was added further, randomized controlled trials, or well-designed cohort studies are needed to determine the association between coffee consumption and cognitive decline, or dementia.


b) In yet another paper on “Coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption and prevention of late-life cognitive decline and dementia: A systematic review” in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging (March 2015, Volume 19, issue 3, pp. 313–328| observed that given the very limited therapeutic value of drugs currently used in the treatment of Alzheimer Disease (AD) and dementia, preventing or postponing the onset of AD and delaying or slowing its progression are becoming mandatory. Among diet-associated factors, coffee is best known psychoactive stimulant resulting in heightened alertness and arousal and improvement of cognitive performance. Besides its short-term effect, study of some long-term effects on brain function provided evidence that coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption or higher plasma caffeine levels may be protective against cognitive impairment/decline and dementia.

c) A research articleAssociation between Coffee Consumption and Incident Risk of Disabling Dementia in Elderly Japanese: The Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study” in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 491-500, 2016) investigated the association between coffee consumption and incident risk of dementia in an elderly Japanese population. 23,091 subjects aged ≥65 y living in Ohsaki City, north eastern Japan, responded to the baseline survey in 2006. It was observed that overall, coffee consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of incident dementia. In addition, this significant inverse association was more remarkable among women, non-smokers, and non-drinkers. Coffee consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of incident dementia.


Conclusion

The above research papers have not drawn any conclusive evidence of coffee consumption reducing the debilitating impact of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease on an individual and this includes a senior citizen as well. However, the findings unequivocally indicate that it offers protection against cognitive impairment/decline and dementia. More research needs to be done in this domain before a conclusion can be arrived at. It may also be noted that none of the research papers consulted by Porosh have included the Indian populace. Who knows the results may then then be quite different then.

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