How many times have you been told that addiction to coffee and drinking several times a day is very harmful to your health? How many times have you been told to replace coffee with a nutritious breakfast instead? How many times have you heard people discuss the harmful effects of caffeine?
It seems the good news is that not only will coffee lovers rejoice and further cling to their addiction, but will also call on everyone to regularly drink coffee. Recent studies conducted at the University of Florida have shown that caffeine, the element found in coffee, and another unidentified compound not found in other drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and even prevent its occurrence in some cases.
As most individuals are aware, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of “dementia” or forgetfulness due to the secretion of the brain protein “amyloid beta,” which is believed to be the cause of this disease. It is believed that this protein leads to the abnormal accumulation of “tau,” a protein also found in the brain, resulting in the destruction of nerve cells.
According to the research, individuals who had higher levels of caffeine in their blood developed Alzheimer’s two to four years later than those who did not. Based on this study, scientists say that developing an anti-Alzheimer’s drug may be possible using the components found in coffee. Dr. Gary Arendash, the specialist who led the latest study, said: “The results provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy.”
Previous research conducted on humans has indicated that the consumption of coffee on a daily basis in midlife or old age protects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Research done with infected mice at the University of South Florida indicated that caffeine found in coffee is probably the element which provides protection against the effects of the disease, as it reduces the secretion of the amyloid beta protein found in the brain. Researchers also observed a 50-percent reduction in levels of amyloid beta in the brains of the caffeinated mice infected with the disease, after they were given caffeine in their drinking water.
It is therefore crucial to remember that moderate daily consumption of caffeinated coffee (3-5 cups a day) appears to be the best option for protection against Alzheimer’s.
Interactive initiative on social networking platforms
In order to shed light on Alzheimer’s disease and its prevalence in Lebanon, and due to the lack of sufficient awareness about ways to deal with the Alzheimer’s patient, Barista launched the interactive #iRemember initiative on social media platforms in Lebanon to support the Alzheimer’s Association Lebanon (AAL). Barista donated one dollar for every special memory shared using #iRemember to AAL on its social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mr. Roy Daniel, Managing Partner of Automatic Brewers, said: “There is an estimate of 35,000 cases of Alzheimer’s in Lebanon and this number just keeps increasing. This social media initiative, which was launched in line with World Alzheimer’s Month, was the perfect way to contribute to raising awareness in our society and supporting Alzheimer’s patients. We were very pleased to see how responsive customers were with this initiative from the moment we launched it, as every one of them felt capable of helping a patient.”
He added, “Recent studies have also indicated that moderate caffeine consumption can be tied to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. As we are pioneers in the coffee industry, we saw it as our duty to help at the right place and at the right time.Barista is planning on collaborating with non-governmental organizations in order to promote its own corporate social responsibilities, we assure you that this will not be the last activity of the sort.”