If your day doesn’t really start until you’ve gulped down a cup of coffee, you may unknowingly be reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A new report by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee has revealed that drinking coffee can help to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders.

In the study, the researchers, led by Dr Elisabet Rothenberg, analysed previous studies looking into the role of dietary components in reducing the risk of disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD).

Their analysis suggests that a higher intake of coffee could not only help to reduce the risk of developing these diseases, but also to relieve symptoms.

In the report, Dr Rothenberg said: “Research suggests that a higher intake of coffee and caffeine, up to 5 cups of coffee per day, could act as preventative on risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions including Parkinson’s Disease.”

Senior woman with Alzheimer’s disease

While the reason for this link remains unknown, the researchers hope the findings will encourage further studies into coffee.

Dr Rothenberg added: “Neurodegenerative conditions such as AD and PD markedly change life conditions by successively impairing functional capacity, with profound effects on independence and well-being.

“Currently no curative treatment is available, and therefore ways to reduce the risk of developing these conditions or relieve symptoms is laudable.

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“At present research has shown promising results regarding the impact of life-style factors including diet. The Mediterranean diet has been of main interest.

“There are also some interesting studies regarding coffee consumption suggesting that caffeine is potentially beneficial in preventing AD and PD.

“However, still it is too early to draw firm conclusions regarding causal relationship between dietary factors and the risk of developing AD and PD. Further research is required.”

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