It's also worth noting that these trials were targeted at senior citizens.
It appears they did check vs. aging effects.
However, there are limitations:
We also did not ask participants when their last caffeine intake was prior to coming in for the initial visit/blood sample. As well, we did not ask subjects about their long-term caffeine/coffee intake habits, although it is likely that subjects with high plasma caffeine levels are habitual/moderate coffee drinkers. Additionally, complete data on ApoE status, education level, ethnicity, dietary habits, and lifestyle choices were not available for all study participants, so none of these can presently be eliminated as contributory to the results observed. Finally, the follow-up time of 2–4 years was relatively short for establishing causality and reverse causation (i.e., subjects with poorer cognitive performance may have reduced caffeine/coffee intake) is
Essentially, they sampled twice and compared cognitive capabilities. However, there appears to be a existing body of knowledge indicating there is a strong linkage.
Background on ApoE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolipoprotein_E#Alzheimer.27s_.... I'd be interested to see how participants' ApoE status relates to these results.
These are truly amazing results, in my opinion.
Alzheimer’s mice given caffeine alone or decaffeinated coffee had a very different immune marker profile.
I wonder what makes the combination of coffee and caffeine different than either of them individually.
A study tracking the health and coffee consumption of more than 400,000 older adults for 13 years, and published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that coffee drinkers reduced their risk of dying from heart disease, lung disease, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, infections, and even injuries and accidents.
I find the decrease in injuries and accidents particularly interesting. My guess is that it's because coffee makes us more alert, but I'm still surprised it can make such a difference.
About a week and a half ago I gave up drinking coffee due to the withdrawal symptoms I experienced if I went a day without it (fatigue, headaches). It feels a lot better not to be addicted, but now I'm not sure whether I should resume.
I feel the same way. Skeptical of this research after the wine/resveritol controversy.
And Spain's research into the benefits of alchohol:
Would less than three cups a day work as well?
`I wonder what makes the combination of coffee and caffeine different than either of them individually.`
Caffeine and antioxidants? Grounds for more research for sure.
> @hendler: "Grounds[sic] for more research for sure."
I fresh grind coffee beans for each cup, with a coffee maker that has a bean bin, so it's not convenient to swap types of beans.
To control caffeine intake while enjoying coffee, I use decaf beans, and take an aspirin+caffeine tablet with the first cup of decaf but not with subsequent cups.
This lets me regulate caffeine, gives me the RDA of aspirin, and lets me enjoy as many cups as suits a given morning without risk of jitters.
That said, I can certainly understand why the researchers would think to check caffeine alone vs decaf alone, while not checking caffeine + decaf. I suspect my use case is unusual.
I'm surprised the seriousface brigade on HN hasn't lynched you for saying that in a thread about coffee.
For your own safety, go make some now.
Still, it's not addictive, and I certainly noticed my lower performance without the stuff than with. A reasonable tradeoff I think.
You do realize that that thought pattern is probably influenced by your psychological addiction, which you really cannot say you got rid of in a week?
I should know, I go through it every third month or so :) Sometimes I have gone for a month without coffee, but always that idea, "it's not so bad, everyone's doing it and there's health benefits" pops back. I don't know why we don't call it a (marvellous) drug, really.
ANd I would not give too much credit to the present study described here, the sample size is so limited (less than 200) that it's not even remotely significant.
Modern clinical studies on Al-Zheimer recruit several thousands participants over the span of several years, with appropriate medical follow up. Observational studies are the equivalent of qualitative studies in consumer researches...
For instance, a study of the cross section of the participants of this study against those who do regular mental exercise (Sudoku, balancing the checking account, playing cards) which induce caffeine intake, would be interesting.
I hope doctors are able to make more effective use of these results than I am.
My mom drinks at least 3 big cups of tea daily. There's no way she doesn't have Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. Although her mother had Alzheimer's also, so maybe caffeine isn't enough to overpower genetics.
I wonder if tea has the same effect as coffee in this case. They both have caffeine.
The USF-UM study was funded by the NIH-designated Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the State of Florida.
Presumably these government agencies have records of the grant proposals and funding criteria.
I would also guess that this experiment will be independently valided by other research groups. That may have happened already to some degree. You could find out by examining the manuscript once it comes out. I note with approval that this news aggregator has thoughtfully provided complete bibliographic information.