2nd edition - April 2012

Welcome to the second edition of the coffee & health quarterly news bulletin.
Over the past three months we have been busy updating the coffee & health website with additional topics, new resources and abstracts of the latest research papers. We do hope that you are continuing to find the coffee & health website a useful resource.

NEW vodcast resource on neurodegenerative disorders

You may have seen that we have recently launched our inaugural vodcast series.

Dr Astrid Nehlig, Research Director from the French National Medical Research Institute (INSERM), discusses the latest research on the relationship between coffee drinking and neurodegenerative disorders with Dr Sarah Schenker, Registered Dietitian.

In part one, which examines age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, Dr Astrid Nehlig, gives an overview of the latest research, which suggests that moderate coffee consumption over the course of a lifetime may help to slow down cognitive decline. When asked about Alzheimer’s disease, Dr Nehlig advises that the “research has reported that the consumption of two or three cups of coffee a day over a lifetime reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 20 to 25 per cent” though recognises that much more research and patient follow up are required.

Part two investigates coffee and Parkinson’s disease. Dr Astrid Nehlig acknowledges that there are now 30 studies, a far greater number than the research conducted on coffee and Alzheimer’s disease. “What these studies show is that regular coffee consumption decreases the risk of having Parkinson’s disease by 30% compared to non coffee drinking and what is also obvious is that every additional cup of coffee decreases this risk further”.

In both vodcasts, the different results between men and women are discussed as well as which components in coffee may be behind the observed effects. Each vodcast concludes with practical advice health professionals can give to their patients.

To view the vodcast series, click here.

Two new topics launched!

We have recently added two new topics to the scientific materials available on coffee & health, based on the latest scientific research.

Neurodegenerative disorders

The new information provides a review of the scientific evidence on the relationship between coffee drinking and neurodegenerative disorders – age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Key highlights include:

  • Studies suggest that regular, lifelong, moderate consumption of coffee/caffeine slows down physiological, age-related cognitive decline, especially in women and those over 80 years old in particular
  • Although epidemiological research suggests that lifelong, moderate coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, further studies are warranted before any firm conclusions can be drawn
  • There is a substantial amount of epidemiological research showing that as coffee consumption rises, the risk of Parkinson’s disease falls, which suggests a potential beneficial effect of coffee
  • Recent studies suggest that moderate coffee consumption may also reduce the risk of stroke

To view the topic, click here.

Mental performance

The new topic provides a review of the scientific evidence on the relationship between coffee drinking and mental performance – including attention and alertness.

Key highlights include:

  • There is convincing evidence that moderate caffeine intake helps to improve alertness and concentration. A 75mg serving of caffeine - the amount found in approximately one regular cup of coffee - leads to both increased attention and alertness, according to a recent opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Brain mapping technology indicates that caffeine is not linked to the brain circuit of dependence and therefore does not fulfil the criteria to be described as a drug of dependence
  • Although abrupt cessation of caffeine consumption may induce withdrawal symptoms in a subset of the population, these are not generally very severe, are of short duration, and can be avoided by progressive reduction of caffeine intake
  • Some studies suggest that caffeine abstinence could improve sleep - both the time it takes to fall asleep and sleep quality, further studies are warranted before any firm conclusions can be drawn
  • There is some evidence to suggest potential benefits of coffee and caffeine in situations which require increased alertness e.g. night shifts and jet lag

To view the topic, click here.

Topics now available as downloadable PDF files

Each topic on coffee & health is now available to download as a PDF file, enabling you to save and print the latest scientific information on coffee, or share it with colleagues. You can download each topic from its summary page:

Coming soon as downloadable PDF files are the Questions Patients Ask, found in the In Practice Centre. This new tool can be saved or printed for reference when answering patient or client questions.

Keep up to date with the latest research

The website is continually being updated with abstracts of the latest research papers on coffee and health, so you can see at a glance what's new in this area.

One study found no association between coffee drinking and ovarian cancer confirmed in European women

Another study concluded that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day does not increase the overall risk of chronic disease; it may lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes

Want to know more? Read the abstracts here.

Refreshed website

To keep up with the expansion of coffee & health as new research, topics and features are added to the site, we will be “spring cleaning” our homepage to ensure you can see at a glance the latest scientific research, materials and tools available to help you remain up to date on coffee and science matters.

MORE coffee & health topics coming soon

Over the next few months, look out for our new topic on coffee and nutrition.


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