Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Coffee News Update: From Pop Culture to the Hallowed Halls of Clinical Research Labs
Recently, a headline made its way around the global media network in various exclamatory iterations. Composite results from 13 trials undertaken at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed that coffee significantly improves performance especially among the nigh-shift crowd.
The headlines were unequivocally upbeat: “Why Caffeine is the Perfect Addiction for a Worker Bee Society;” “Coffee Improves Productivity and Safety at Work;” Coffee Improves Work Efficiency;” “Coffee is Best Perk for Sleepy Workers;” and many, many more. News about coffee is big news---if only because coffee is a $60 billion-plus industry and the world's most widely consumed psyhoactive beverage worldwide.
The scientific community continues to study coffee seriously. One major recent development is the devotion of an entire supplement of The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. This supplement, "Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases," is devoted to exploring how coffee affects the cognitive decline associated with aging and with Alzheimer's disease. There are 22 articles devoted to this topic and related topic, but the quick takeaway is that “moderate amounts of caffeine are inversely associated with the cognitive decline associated with both aging and Alzheimer's disease.”
This issue of JAD is a byproduct of a meeting—entitled “Caffeine and the Brain” held in Lisbon a year ago in June 2009. The meeting, which was sponsored by the Associaci˜ao Industrial e Comercial do Cafe in Portugal, was widely heralded as a breakthrough research moment for coffee in which coffee was identified as a disease-modifying agent for Alzheimer's disease and possibly for an entire group of neurodegenerative diseases that involve an element of cognitive decline.
Coffee is the perfect antidote for the aging brain!