from Dr. Joseph Mercola

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • A report revealed coffee could potentially reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions or relieve some symptoms
  • The results support past studies that found coffee protects the neurological system, reduces cognitive decline and improves insulin sensitivity
  • Rates of Alzheimer’s Disease are rising. It is also called Type 3 diabetes, as the effect of insulin dysregulation in the brain may induce changes seen in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • More possible benefits from coffee include reduced risks of dying early and of contracting certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes; it also may boost athletic performance
  • Coffee crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so seek out organic selections; consider grinding it at home and drinking it without sugar

Coffee is an integral part of many people’s morning and afternoon routines, with long lines at neighborhood coffee shops as testaments to its popularity. According to Daily Coffee News, the 2019 coffee report from the National Coffee Association found that 63% of people report they had a cup of coffee within the past day, which is a 6% increase from 2016.1

For the first time in the association’s history of reporting, the preference for brewed gourmet, espresso-based beverages and blended or cold brew drinks surpassed traditional, non-gourmet selections. The report also reveals coffee consumption was relatively stable in the past year.

This is fortunate since the U.S. Department of Agriculture2 forecasted reduced production since this is an off-year in the cyclical harvesting of Brazil’s Arabica trees. Lower shipments from Brazil and Honduras may result in 4.7 million fewer bags exported.

Despite the high number of people who drink coffee in the U.S., America ranks 25th globally in coffee consuming countries per capita, according to World Atlas.3 For comparison, Finland consumes 12 kg (3.2 gallons) per capita of coffee while the U.S. drinks 4.2 kg (1.1 gallons) per capita.

In the past, coffee drinking has been looked at as a vice or crutch to get some quick energy during the day. But research is revealing health benefits from it. It’s important, however, to remember that most coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides. If you’re a java aficionado, it’s wise to purchase organic coffee to reduce your exposure to chemical toxins.

Enjoy Neuroprotective Effects From Caffeine

Coffee drinkers are familiar with its short-term stimulating effects on the nervous system. It can make you more alert but in larger amounts, even a little jittery. Scientists are also evaluating the long-term effects caffeine may have on cognition, specifically in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The results have been encouraging.4

The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) recently released a report written by Elizabeth Rothenberg, Ph.D., which identified coffee as a potential dietary intervention that could reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions or relieve some symptoms.5

Researchers have found that caffeine and coffee drinking may provide a protective effect on the neurological system.6 The authors of several studies have found that drinking coffee lowers your risk for Alzheimer’s disease7 and reduces overall cognitive decline.8,9 There are also indications that the caffeine in coffee might increase insulin sensitivity, as well.10

In a collaborative effort, German and French research teams used an animal model to demonstrate how caffeine could block adenosine-activated brain receptors and have a positive effect on tau deposits found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease.11

Researchers have also studied12 the effect of coffee on multiple sclerosis, another neurodegenerative condition. In their review of the literature they found “that coffee and caffeine intake in moderation must not be considered as a health risk.” As an aside, they also noted that consuming high amounts of coffee and caffeine to “what equals about six cups of coffee per day” may help “reduce the risk of some diseases significantly.”

While they didn’t specify what those diseases might be, the authors did warn that a negative side effect of consuming coffee in large amounts could result in an addiction that can be hard to quit.

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