For about 20 years now there has been an increasing number of studies and research projects that have come to the conclusion that regular coffee drinkers are significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (than those that don’t drink coffee). What these studies could not work out was why this was so.
At one point it was assumed that caffeine was the magic ingredient, and that therefore any drinks (e.g., tea, milo), beverages (e.g., Pepsi or Coke), or foods even (e.g., chocolate), that contained caffeine would have the same effect. But more recent studies over the last five years seemed to disprove this because drinking tea, which also contains caffeine, does not provide the same protection against the onset of Alzheimer’s.
According to a very recent study (released this month) summarised by ScienceDaily (here) there is an as yet unidentified compound in coffee that interacts with the caffeine when the coffee is brewed. This interaction in turn induces an increase in the blood levels of a growth factor called GCSF. GCSF is a known substance and it is known to be at very low levels in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and at higher levels in those without the disease.
From trials conducted with mice GCSF has been demonstrated to improve the memory in mice already affected with Alzheimer’s.
Controlled trials with decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee clearly demonstrated that when there is no or very low levels of caffeine then the blood levels of GCSF do not increase.
With all the compounding health reasons to drink coffee it isn’t going to be long before you will only be able to get it at a chemist and you will need a prescription.