Despite all the warnings we have received in recent times regarding limiting our caffeine intake, it still remains the drug of choice among people today. Most Americans, on average, consume three and a half cups of coffee per day. The average number of caffeinated soft drinks such as soda that people consume is thought to be much higher.

Caffeine is a stimulating drug found in drinks like coffee and sodas and also in some foods such as chocolate. The way caffeine affects the body is by changing the chemistry of the brain. Caffeine cancels the sleep inducing chemical adenosine, which is responsible for slowing down cell activity in the body to a level that is conducive to sleep. This is why people who consume caffeine on a regular basis seem to have more energy than people who do not. Because of its stimulating qualities, caffeine consumption in people with conditions like high blood pressure should be limited. However, recent discoveries by researchers may suggest that all of caffeine’s effects on the body are not harmful. In fact, one of them could be especially promising for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the University of Florida conducted a brain study of mice who were bred to carry the plaque beta-amyloid protein in their blood stream. Plaques containing beta-amyloid proteins are found in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The mice began to exhibit memory problems at the age of 18 months, which is comparable to seventy human years. The study gave the afflicted mice 500mg of caffeine per day, which equates to the caffeine content found in five regular cups of coffee. Within two months of regular consumption of caffeine, the afflicted mice began to show marked improvements in their mental faculties and most were able to function on the same level of mental capacity as unaffected mice of their own age. The findings of this studies lead researchers to believe that caffeine consumption could one day be a cure, not just a treatment strategy, for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

So what do these results mean for people who are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? Researchers suggest that in situations where Alzheimer’s disease is present, consuming caffeine may do the body more good than harm, all things considered. Although most drinks containing caffeine are safe for consumption, it is always prudent to consult with a qualified health care professional before consuming caffeinated drinks or food items or before increasing your caffeine intake – especially if you are under a doctor’s care for pre-exisiting medical conditions.

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