Coffee has many health benefits. However, it may have a dark side that many people don’t know about. According to a recent study, long-term caffeine consumption may make Alzheimer’s symptoms worse.
While studying a group of mice with Alzheimer’s, researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain made an interesting discovery. They found that continual exposure to caffeine led to an increase in behavioral symptoms characteristic to the disease (such as anxiety).
Previous research suggests that coffee has the ability to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, though this may be true, it seems to worsen the symptoms for people whom already have the disease.
As it turns out, mice tend to develop Alzheimer’s very similarly to the way humans do. They portray both cognitive issues as well as BPSD-like symptoms characteristic of the disease.
According to Medical News Today:
To find out, the team added caffeine to the rodents’ drinking water from the ages of 6 to 13 months, at a dose of 0.3 milligrams per milliliter.
The researchers explain that previous studies have found that this dosage leads to a daily caffeine intake of around 1.5 milligrams in mice, which is the equivalent to about 500 milligrams in humans, or five cups of coffee per day.
Upon seeing the study results, the researchers made an interesting conclusion. The mice who drank the water with caffeine had higher BPSD than those who drank water. BPSD symptoms include anxiety and neophobia (the fear of unfamiliar situations or objects).
In addition, the researchers found that caffeine had very little benefit for the memory and learning of the mice.
This study was done on rodents. However, the results suggest that doctors be cautious in recommending coffee for their patients with Alzheimer’s.