Is coffee good for your brain?
By Kristen Addison-Brown, PhD, NEA Neuropsychology, PLLC
Coffee lovers rejoice! According to CBS News, a recent study out of Italy suggests just that! Now, don’t get too excited. There were limitations: Benefits were NOT seen in those drinking more than 2 cups per day. So, those of you glued to your coffee pot just to survive may want to take note!
My take? Many other studies over the years have had similar findings. While there are still no conclusive recommendations that can be made (due to reliance or correlational data- remember correlation does not equal causation), the evidence does appear to be mounting.
So, I say if you are a coffee lover, drink up! If you aren’t, don’t worry about it. Do other things that we know for certain are good for your brain, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regular (P.S. Coffee lovers should be doing these things, too).
If you do drink coffee, keep it plain and simple. Loading your drink with sugar and creamer probably negates any potential health benefits from your coffee drinking. Also, don’t drink too much. Excess caffeine can contribute to anxiety, sleep loss, and cardiac complications. Finally, use caution if you do have a known anxiety problem, sleep disorder, or heart problem. Caution is also warranted if you are taking other substances with stimulant properties such as certain medications for ADHD, wakefulness promoters (Provigil, Nuvigil), or any of the numerous over-the-counter brain or memory supplements available, many of which have several stimulant ingredients including caffeine.
Here is a link to the original write-up on CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/regular-coffee-habits-memory-brain-health-seniors/ and to the article abstract: http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad150333.
Dr. Addison-Brown, ArPA Public Education Committee Chair