Most people do not need another reason to have a cup of coffee. But researchers at the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy are giving us one anyway. Dr. Vincenzo Solfrizzi and colleagues analyzed the coffee consumption of 1,445 individuals between 65 and 84 years old and found that drinking 1-2 cups of coffee each day may reduce your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as you age.
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Mild cognitive impairment involves memory, language, and thinking problems that are more severe than what is part of normal aging. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment are at a significant risk of developing dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions.
In a press release, Dr. Solfrizzi said: “moderate and regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects … against MCI, confirming previous studies on the long-term protective effects of coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption … against cognitive decline and dementia.”
The positive effects of coffee appear to be dose-dependent. Individuals who drank 1-2 cups of coffee had a reduced incidence of MCI compared to individuals who never or rarely consumed coffee, or individuals who drank more than 2 cups of coffee.
I should point out that the study was a correlational study so there may be other related factors that explain the differences in the development of mild cognitive impairment. But, this study along with a number of other studies that support moderate coffee consumption might be another reason to enjoy a ‘cup of joe’.