London: While drinking your daily cup of coffee can help you stay sharp, modifying your habit by increasing coffee consumption over time may increase risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia, says new research.
"These findings from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Ageing suggested that cognitively normal older individuals who never or rarely consumed coffee and those who increased their coffee consumption habits had a higher risk of developing MCI,” said one of the researchers Francesco Panza from the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.
"Therefore, moderate and regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects also against MCI - confirming previous studies on the long-term protective effects of coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption and plasma levels of caffeine against cognitive decline and dementia," Panza noted.
The study involved 1,445 individuals aged 65-84 years.
An interesting finding in this study was that cognitively normal older individuals who modified their habits by increasing with time their amount of coffee consumption ( more than a cup of coffee/day) had about two times higher rate of MCI compared to those with reduced habits (less than a cup of coffee/day).
They also had about one and a half time higher rate of MCI in comparison with those with constant habits (neither more nor less than one cup of coffee/day).
Moreover, those who habitually consumed a moderate amount of coffee (one or two cups of coffee/day) had a reduced rate of the incidence of MCI than those who habitually never or rarely consumed coffee.
These findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.