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2 cups of coffee a day reduces Alzheimer's risk to a third

2 cups of coffee a day reduces Alzheimer's risk to a third

Posted December. 30, 2019 08:06,   

Updated March. 24, 2020 07:50


South Korean researchers released study results that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

A research team led by Psychiatry Professor Jee Wook Kim at Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital and Psychiatry Professor Dong Young Lee at Seoul National University Hospital said on Sunday that people who drink two or more cups of coffee per day had about a third of dementia-causing substances compared to those whose daily coffee intake is lower. Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disease the causes cognitive decline and accounts for 70 percent of all dementia cases. It is caused by the accumulation of amyloid-beta, abnormal protein in the brain tissues, which leads to the degeneration of nerve cells.

In 2017, the research team compared the positron emission tomography images of 269 South Korean participants aged 55 to 90 who consume at least two cups of coffee every day and 142 subjects who do not. The team found that around 17.6 percent of the former group had amyloid-beta deposits at levels suggesting a high likelihood of Alzheimer's disease while 27.1 percent of the latter group showed such a sign. Controlling other factors, such as age, gender, income and education levels, and genetic elements, the risk of Alzheimer's disease was about one-third for the former group compared to the latter.

The comparison among the four groups of the subjects categorized by lifetime coffee consumption demonstrated the amount of amyloid-beta tends to be lower for more avid coffee drinkers.

“There have been studies looking into the connection between coffee consumption and dementia, but this is the first research in the world that directly observed a decrease in the cause of dementia in the human brain,” said Professor Kim. The research findings were published in the newest edition of Translational Psychiatry, a psychiatry-specialized journal of world-renowned science journal Nature.

Mee-Jee Lee image@donga.com