Your Caffeine Addiction Could Do You Good


I love coffee. Love. It. My husband knows not to start any conversations in the morning until I am clutching a steaming mug (I haven't quite convinced the kids of this necessity yet) and I adore my grind-and-brew coffeemaker so much I think it's the one thing I'd save from a fire once everyone was out safe. Even my eye cream has caffeine in it.

There's some evidence now that consuming large amounts of caffeine can even protect the brain from the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. But even I would have a hard time getting in the amount that appears to have a protective effect.

It appears that consuming more than 500 milligrams of caffeine a day -- the amount in five cups of coffee -- is the threshold for seeing any benefit. I don't know about you, but as much as I love the stuff five cups would have me absolutely vibrating with anxiety and jumpiness. I might not have Alzheimer's, but I wouldn't have many friends, either.

Researcher Gary Arendash from the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center says his mice who have Alzheimer's do 40 to 50 percent better on memory tasks if they get enough caffeine. He's so convinced of the benefits that he now has five to six cups of coffee daily.

Another study out of Finland followed coffee drinkers for more than 20 years. It found those who'd consumed the most coffee in their 40s and 50s were 65 to 70 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Coffee is also supposed to help ward off diabetes, although it doesn't blunt the effects of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.

In any case, it's nice to have another reason to enjoy that second (or third) cup.

Image via DeusXFlorida/Flickr





general health, in the news

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RanaA... RanaAurora

I am now going to refer to this every time caffeine is called bad.

I love my (real sugar, organic) cola and coffee too much.

celes... celestegood

I have known all along that coffee is good for me. I won't give it up...EVER!  Everyone needs a vice....

Pishyah Pishyah

You'd be suprised how many cups are actually in most people's coffee mugs.  My mug holds almost 4 cups.  I didn't know that until I got a 6 cup coffee maker, LOL!   I drink two or three of it a day. 

jeann... jeannesager

Ya know, when people say I drink too much diet soda and the aspartame is going to kill me, I always say it's going to be SOMETHING that kills me. We all have our vices. But now I have an even better counter :). Thanks Kuras!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Pishyah, my coffee cups?  Let's just say I hold to Gilmore Girl standards and prefer to call them "coffee bowls."  If it doesn't hold at least 20 ounces, I think it's too small.

CafeM... CafeMochaMom1

Yes coffee is good for you provided you don't exceed more than a couple a day. But, I like coffee for the taste. And it tastes delicious with ice on a really hot day. I would choose it over iced tea.

nonmember avatar SKL

I'd like to know why coffee gets such a bad rap and why so many Americans are fooled into thinking it's "bad."

Years ago, I was reading "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind" and it mentioned a study of people who lived over 100 to see what they had in common.  It stuck in my mind that the ONLY significant habit they had in common was drinking coffee.  Since then, I have noticed many studies (quietly mentioned) that indicate various important health benefits of coffee.  So this story about Alzheimers does not surprise me at all.

Now when will they come clean and start touting coffee as being "good for you" - unless you have an individual sensitivity - as with nuts?

Lokis... LokisMama

Now is it JUST caffine in coffee or caffine in general?  I can't stand coffee (the result of accidently taking a drink of my grandfather's coffee who would drink it black no sugar and I've never been able to aquire the taste), but I drink 4 or 5 cans of soda a day......


momof... momof2andonly2

I love caffeine too. I like drinking Pepsi, Tim Horton's  french vanilla, cafe mocha, energy drinks and also Tim Horton's Ice Capps.

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