Caffeine is one of 24 compounds researchers identified that can boost the brain's ability to protect itself against dementia, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, according to a new study published Tuesday. Scientists at Indiana University screened more than a 1,200 compounds in an effort to identify those that could boost the brain's production of an enzyme, named NMNAT2, that was discovered last year at Indiana University. That enzyme has been shown to protect neurons from stress and fight the buildup of misfolded proteins in the brain, a common trait identified with neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Thankfully for coffee drinkers, researchers found that one of the compounds that could boost NMNAT2 production in the brain is caffeine. "This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical'blockade' against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders," Hui-Chen Lu, a Indiana University professor who led the study, said in a press release.
It's tasty, warm and gives you a much needed energy boost - just about everybody loves a cup of coffee. But now scientists claim the hot drink is more than just an enjoyable treat, it can actually help to prevent the onslaught of dementia. Women over the age of 65 who had a normal caffeine intake were 36 per cent less likely to develop a cognitive impairment, a study found. However, experts haven't quite put their finger on why just two cups of coffee a day can help to prevent dementia. Researchers, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, assessed 6,467 women over the age of 65 and their daily self-reported caffeine consumption.
Many of us depend on our morning cup – or two – of coffee to wake us up and kick start the brain. Without it, you can become irritable, and have trouble concentrating on the tasks at hand. However, scientists discovered that our cuppa not only helps to make people feel more alert. Rather, caffeine can also improve reaction time, particularly in older adults, according to a new study. A team of experts from University of Bristol found that older people given caffeine tablets – the equivalent of two cups of coffee – scored higher in tests relating to attention.
The roughly 400 mg of caffeine found in that amount of coffee is safe for healthy adults, but pregnant women should stick to less than 300 mg, or three cups, a day, according to researchers with the International Life Sciences Institute, whose paper appeared Friday in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Children can consume up to 2.5 mg a day with no adverse health effects, the study also found. ILSI's North America branch reviewed nearly 740 caffeine-related studies conducted between 2001 and 2015 to reach its results. "This Systematic Review provides evidence that furthers our understanding of caffeine on human health," said Dr. Eric Hentges, the executive director of ILSI North America. "Also, this review provides the research community with data and valuable evidence to support the development and execution of future research on caffeine safety that will impact public health.
With our hectic lifestyles, it's incredibly common to feel a dip in concentration at work. Research has shown that when we're not concentrating, our brain'turns off'. Spending too long switched off could lead to premature ageing and early-onset dementia. But by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can make a real difference to your brain power in just one week. Nutritionist Amy Morris offers seven easy steps you can follow to perform at your best everyday.