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Big Benefits From Your Daily Cup of Joe

Big Benefits From Your Daily Cup of Joe

When we read the headline, “Coffee Habits Impact Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment,” it reminded us of a TV ad for Berlitz language school in which a German Coast Guard officer -- who speaks broken English -- replies to a Mayday call. A ship’s captain is pleading for help: “We’re sinking, we’re sinking! Can you help us?” The young German replies, “Um … Vut are you sinking about?”

That hilarious advertisement makes it clear that when it comes to communicating important information you have to choose your words wisely and accurately. Just what those headline writers didn’t do. They made it sound like coffee was bad for the brain when, under specific circumstances, it’s just the opposite!

The study, from the University of Bari in Italy, actually says, “Coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption may be protective against cognitive impairment and dementia.” And “moderate amounts, or one to two cups per day, appear to have greater [cognitive] benefit than drinking no or very little coffee daily.”  It seems the compounds in coffee have the ability to protect brain neurons from plaque (linked to dementia) and activate and protect other neural receptors. Plus if you’re a fast metabolizer of coffee (88% of North American’s are) it also helps protect against Parkinson’s while reducing your risk of nine cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The study also points out that occasionally drinking a couple of cups or skipping it altogether isn’t brain-friendly, but the steady enjoyment of a couple a cups a day does the trick just right.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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