Each year more than 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world. What impact does it have on our health?

Caffeine has been shown to change the chemistry of the brain, including activating the pleasure centers and injecting more adrenaline into your system to make you more active and alert. Research suggests it also may offer protections against diabetes and come cancers.

A lot of people drink coffee because they believe it increases their short-term memory. According to a study reported in Science Daily, there may be reason to believe that coffee improves cognitive skills and reaction time, verbal memory and visuospatial reasoning. Older adults seem to have the biggest positive effect in these areas, and women over 80 did extremely better on cognitive tests if they had been drinking coffee over the span of their lifetime. It has also been associated with lower risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as countering the risk factors from heart attack or stroke.

A study conducted in Finland and Sweden in 2009 showed that 1,400 people followed for about 20 years, and who reported drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily, were 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared to occasional coffee drinkers or those who did not drink coffee at all. Caffeine has been shown to significantly decrease the abnormal levels of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a study involving 83,700 nurses enrolled in the long-term Nurses’ Health Study, coffee has been linked to lower risks for strokes, especially in women. There was a 20% lower risk factor for stroke in those who reportedly drank two or more cups of coffee per daily, compared to women who drank less coffee or none at all. The pattern remained the same whether other factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or type2 diabetes were present. Higher consumption of coffee is also associated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s, and a reduced incidence of depression in women.

The best type of coffee to drink? Research suggests that any type of roasted coffee, all types – caffeinated decaffeinated and instant will do. They contain over 1,000 chemicals that can protect against loss of brain cells over that of green coffee. Espresso, although higher in fat content, has more antioxidant properties than other brews, and antioxidants help to reduce many health risks, including cognitive and memory decline.

So, sit back and relax over that last cup of coffee before you hit the books, or the office. Your body, and your brain, will thank you for it. A word of caution, as with most food or drink, coffee should only be consumed in moderation. There are side effects, such as nervousness and moodiness with the caffeine overload you can get from too much coffee. It has also been shown to be addictive, so stopping coffee intake – especially over many years, can result in headaches and other withdrawal symptoms.

The newest studies have shown coffee to be more beneficial than not for memory and brain functions, so drinking a few cups of coffee a day can help your memory and your physical health in many ways.





MemoryZine.com – Help Maintain Memory Fitness With Another Cup of Joe: http://memoryzine.com/2011/11/05/maintaining-memory-fitness-with-another-cup-of-joe/