Ways To Prevent Or Delay Dementia
Just about everyone knows someone who has dementia, a progressive brain disorder that gradually erases memory and thinking skills. Many of us are concerned about developing Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia as we age.
Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genes, cant be helped.
But there are things we can do that may help delay the onset or progression of symptoms, says UNC Health geriatrician Emily Cetrone, MD, who treats patients with dementia and is often asked by their family members about prevention.
One thing to understand: Dementia is not a normal part of aging it damages the brain, and it is caused by many different diseases.
We are still working to better understand all of the risk factors involved and how we can best treat and prevent it, but with taking care of your body and brain throughout life, you can lower your risk, Dr. Cetrone says.
Here are eight tips from Dr. Cetrone.
Moderation Is The Name Of The Game
The results of the latest study may indicate some benefits of drinking coffee and tea, but that doesnt necessarily mean that everyone should start drinking more cups of coffee and tea during the day.
“Not all coffee drinks have the same amount of caffeine, and people value a cup of coffee or tea differently. In any case, it’s worth remembering that it’s best to consume most things in moderation,” Schwam said. “If you avoid caffeinated beverages, there may be a good reason for it.
He added that there is no evidence showing its beneficial to start drinking coffee or tea. Instead, he said, people should enjoy their morning coffee, and drinking a few more cups during the day was fine, too.
Socialize And Seek Fun
Researchers are looking for keys to the causes of dementia and ways to treat or prevent the symptoms. But meanwhile, try to connect with other people and enjoy your life. This is true for people with no symptoms and for those struggling with memory loss and thinking problems.
Some tactics people try to improve memory, such as trying to strengthen the brain with crossword puzzles or number games, are fine to do if they are sources of enjoyment, but they arent miracle tools, Dr. Cetrone says.
It is much more effective to spend time socializing and engaging with others, which is one reason addressing hearing loss is so important, to maintain the quality of those connections, she says. The more we can do to be healthy before symptoms start, the better off we will be.
If you are concerned about risks or symptoms of dementia, talk to your doctor, or find one near you.
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Coffee Can Be Part Of A Healthy Diet For Most People
Drinking up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day isnt associated with negative or dangerous health effects, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . The average cup of green or black tea has 30 to 50 mg of caffeine, and an 8 ounce cup of coffee has about 80 to 100 mg.
But you can have too much of a good thing too many cups of coffee or tea can cause insomnia, jitters, anxiousness, and an upset stomach. And keep in mind that the recommendations for coffee are for black coffee: The AHA warns that many coffee-based drinks have a lot of added fats and sugar and are high in calories.
What Do The Research Studies Reveal About Caffeine And Dementia
The effects of caffeine on the risk of developing dementia has been studied many times. These studies might only be quite small or only apply to a specific group of people, but the media attention they receive can often overstate their impact.
One key study in Florida, which was reported on in 2012, followed people with mild cognitive impairment and monitored their caffeine levels and their cognitive ability over the next two to four years.
The researchers found that people who did not develop dementia had twice as much caffeine in their blood as those who did.
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What Is Chronic Inflammation And Why Is It Bad For Your Brain
Inflammation is a defense mechanism. When we are hurt or sick, our immune system sends armies of white blood cells to fight off the injury or illness and repair damaged tissue. With more blood flowing to the source of harm, we feel discomfort, swelling, redness, and heat. This is why an ankle swells up when sprained. Without inflammation, healing cant happen.
But chronic inflammation happens even when there isnt an injury or illness. Your body, unable to tell the difference, sends white blood cells to attack healthy tissue instead.
Chronic inflammation leads to many serious conditions, from diabetes to heart disease. And it also affects your brain, increasing your chances of developing neurological issues, including depression, dementia, and Alzheimers disease.
There are some things you can do to maximize the beneficial health effects of coffee.
The most important is to not add a lot of sugar to it.
Another technique is to brew coffee with a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee such as from a Turkish or French press contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels .
Bear in mind that some coffee drinks at cafÃ©s and franchises contain hundreds of calories and a lot of sugar. These drinks are unhealthy if consumed regularly.
Finally, make sure to not drink excessive amounts of coffee.
Summary It is important not to put a lot of sugar in your coffee. Brewing with a paper filter can get rid of a cholesterol-raising compound called cafestol.
Coffee Contains Caffeine A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function And Boost Metabolism
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world .
Soft drinks, tea and chocolate all contain caffeine, but coffee is the biggest source.
The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90100 mg.
Caffeine is a known stimulant. In your brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine.
However, some of these effects are likely short-term. If you drink coffee every day, you will build up a tolerance and with it, the effects will be less powerful .
Summary The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance.
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Additives In Mountain Dew Impair Brain Function
Sodium benzoate is one of the many food additives used in sodas such as Mountain Dew. It is a white crystalline powder with a faint, sweetish taste that is frequently used to prevent food spoilage.
In a 2018 study, researchers found that sodium benzoate impairs motor functions, which leads to memory loss and impaired motor coordination, and affects the chemical processes in the brain, which could lead to more serious health issues.
Moreover, although caffeine helps many people function and be more productive, studies show that prolonged use affects brain function, which explains why you struggle to sleep when using caffeine more often.
However, caffeine intake disrupts more than just your sleep cycle. It affects other functions in your brain, causing an increased risk for memory loss and worsening other severe conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
Is Coffee Good For You Or Not
Please note: This article was published more than two years ago, so some information may be outdated. If you have questions about your health, always contact a health care professional.
Just a couple of calories a cup, good old black coffee packs quite a punch. It wakes you up, boosts your metabolic rate and decreases the risk of some diseases.
Not that habitual coffee drinkers need convincing, but evidence of its health benefits stacks up quickly:
- It gives you energy and may help you lose weight and sharpen your mental focus, thanks to the magic of caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine may improve your mood, help your brain work better and improve performance during exercise.
- A regular java habit is associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and Parkinsons disease. Additionally, in one study, caffeine was linked to a lower risk of Alzheimers disease.
- Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants, which may help protect cells from damage.
- Higher consumption of coffee caffeinated and decaf alike was associated with a lower risk of total mortality, including deaths attributed to heart disease, nervous system diseases and suicide.
More specifically, habitual coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women.
For health-conscious coffee lovers then, the most important question isnt, Is it good for you? but rather, How do you take it?
Despite its benefits, caffeine also can be dangerous if consumed in excess.
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Coffee May Worsen Certain Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms Study Finds
A recent animal study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggests that coffee may worsen some anxiety-related symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could change perspective on the popular beverage, which is usually hailed for its health benefits.
Researchers added 0.3 milligrams per milliliter of caffeine to the drinking water of rats with a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease. This dosage is equivalent to a human drinking about five cups of coffee a day, Medical News Today reported. The caffeine was added when the rats were between 6 and 13 months of age. At 13 months, the mice were tested for their both behavioral and cognitive Alzheimer’s symptoms.
While most associate Alzheimer’s disease with its hallmark cognitive symptoms, such as worsening memory, the condition is also associated with a number of behavioral symptoms, such as increased depression and anxiety.
Researchers found that caffeine had little effect on the rats’ memory but seemed to increase the severity of their anxiety-like conditions. The Alzheimer’s rats that drank caffeine displayed more anxiety symptoms, such as fear of unfamiliar objects, compared to rats who did not consume caffeine.
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What Foods Make Dementia Worse
New research finds that its not only what you eat, but also how you combine certain foods that can increase your risk of developing Alzheimers and other forms of dementia in later life. The foods most strongly associated with this risk were sugary snacks, alcohol, processed meats, and starches like potatoes.
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Clinical And Neuropsychological Assessments
All participants were administered standardized clinical assessments by trained board-certified psychiatrists based on the KBASE clinical assessment protocol which incorporated the CERAD-K clinical assessment, which incorporates the CERAD-K. All subjects were also given a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment battery, administered by a clinical neuropsychologist or trained psychometrists according to a standardized protocol incorporating the CERAD-K neuropsychological battery. Details on full assessment battery were described previously.
Whats Good For Your Heart Is Good For Your Brain
Dr. Marc Agronin, Alzheimers researcher and author of The Dementia Caregiver, explained that a basic rule of thumb is that whats good for your heart is good for your brain.
What we eat over our lifetime has a dramatic impact on our health and risk for many diseases, including dementia, said Agronin.
He said a diet weighted toward healthy foods can help. These foods include:
- olive and nut oils
- whole grains and legumes
- less highly processed sugars and red meats
Eating healthy is essential for controlling weight, glucose, and cholesterol levels which are key risk factors for both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health.
According to Lonsdorf, Research on overall diet is still in early stages, however, the following are associated with lower risk: Mediterranean diet, DASH diet , the MIND diet , and the Anti-inflammatory diet.
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What Did The Scientists Find
People who drank two to three cups of coffee with two to three cups of tea per day had around 30% lower risk of stroke and dementia when compared to those who didnt consume either. This association was found for people who just drank either tea or coffee, as well as those who drank both.
People who had the lowest risk of developing dementia or stroke either:
- Had two to three cups of coffee a day.
- Had three to five cups of tea a day.
- Had a combination of four to six cups of tea and coffee a day.
Researchers in this study found that drinking tea and coffee was linked to a lower risk of having an ischaemic stroke and vascular dementia, rather than a haemorrhagic stroke or Alzheimers disease.
Surprising Benefits Of Coffee
4 Surprising Benefits of Coffee
Cant live without your daily cup of joe? We dont blame you!
Although studies have historically shown the negative side effects of coffee, recent studies indicate that it can actually improve your health from boosting brain power, to delaying Alzheimers disease and improving memory as you age.
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Is Coffee Good Or Bad For Your Health
Although early studies of coffee suggested that it could lead to health problems, recent research provides strong evidence that drinking coffee actually has a variety of health benefits.
The overall evidence has been pretty convincing that coffee has been more healthful than harmful in terms of health outcomes, said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in an April 5, 2021, article in Discover. For most people, moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Hu said that moderate coffee intakeabout 25 cups a dayis linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancers, Parkinsons disease, and depression. Its even possible that people who drink coffee can reduce their risk of early death.
Early research linked coffee to diseases ranging from heart disease and asthma. But Hu noted that many participants in those studies also smoked, which may have led researchers to think that coffee was responsible for the adverse effects that are now linked with cigarettes. He added that anything people consume a lot of tends to come under scrutiny. In the past, I think a lot of people thought, Oh, coffees so delicious, there must be something bad about coffee, he said. So I think the good news is that most people, coffee actually confers some health benefits.
What Is Mountain Dew And What’s In It
Mountain Dew is a carbonated soft drink made by PepsiCo. It was first introduced in 1948 and has been popular ever since.
The drink is bright yellow-green in color, has a distinct citrusy flavor, and is one of the most popular soft drinks in the United States that you can easily find in convenience stores, supermarkets, and fast-food restaurants.
The main ingredients in Mountain Dew are carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, and caffeine.
High-fructose corn syrup sweetens the drink, while concentrated orange juice and citric acid provide a distinct citrus flavor. Also, regular Mountain Dew has a unique taste thanks to its natural flavors, and sodium benzoate and caffeine are important for keeping the drink fresh and giving you energy.
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What Did The Researchers Find
Overall, they found the more coffee participants consumed daily, the smaller their total brain volume.
Dementia risk was less straightforward. People who didnt drink coffee, or drank decaf, showed slightly higher odds of developing dementia than people who drank a moderate amount of coffee. The odds of dementia were significantly higher for those who drank more than six cups daily. The results suggest people who drink one to two cups of coffee a day are at no increased risk of dementia.
After adjusting the data for variables such as underlying health conditions, age, sex and body-mass index, the researchers concluded consumption of more than six cups of coffee daily was associated with smaller brain volume, and 53% higher odds of dementia compared with one to two cups daily.
The evidence for any association between the amount of coffee consumed and stroke risk wasnt significant.
Coffee May Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide. It generally starts slowly but gets more severe over time.
Alzheimers causes memory loss, as well as problems with thinking and behavior. There is currently no known cure.
Interestingly, diet-related factors may affect your risk of developing Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia.
Observational studies have associated regular, moderate coffee consumption with up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimers (
Consuming moderate amounts of coffee may protect against Parkinsons disease. This effect is attributed to the caffeine.
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Can Coffee Prevent Alzheimers
The new coffee and dementia study, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, studied 200 participants for 10 years who were aged 60 and older and did not have cognitive impairment at the start of the study. The researchers, led by Samantha Gardener, Ph.D., found that higher coffee intake corresponded to a lower risk of cognitive impairment. Research studies, published since 2009, have shown that middle-aged people who drink coffee may have a significantly decreased risk of Alzheimers in older age.
Drinking coffee wont prevent Alzheimers forever. However, it could be a habit to incorporate to decrease your risk. Our research is looking at modifiable risk factors that could delay the onset of the disease, Gardener told SingleCare. Even a five-year delay would have a massive social and economic benefit, and these dietary modifications are generally accessible to all as well as being less expensive than medications and with less side effects.
So, does drinking more coffee mean staving off the disease? Our estimates suggest that the average cup of coffee made at home is 240 g, Gardener says. Increasing intake from one to two cups per day could provide up to 8% decrease in executive function decline over an 18-month period, and up to 5% decrease in cerebral A-amyloid accumulation over the same time period.
In other words, it is as simple as having an extra serving.