Why a cup of coffee a day is good for the brain
A daily dose of caffeine is good for the brain, say scientists.
Coffee, and other caffeinated drinks, can block the damage cholesterol does to the body, including lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s.
‘Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky,’ said Dr Jonathan Geiger, from the University of North Dakota, who led the study.
‘High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood brain barrier.
‘Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.’
A spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Disease Society adds: ‘This is the best evidence yet that caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee a day can help protect the brain against cholesterol.
‘In addition to its effect on the vascular system, elevated cholesterol levels also cause problems with the blood brain barrier.
‘This barrier, which protects the brain from toxins and infections, is less efficient prior to brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease or strokes.’
The current study took place on rabbits and now the ADS is calling for further research to check the results are the same for humans.