The good things in life: Nutrition, coffee and age-related cognitive decline

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Understanding the role of nutrition in cognitive function as we age is important. Europe
is negotiating the needs of an ageing population to enhance quality of life amongst this
demographic. Healthcare professionals have an important part to play in providing patients
with accurate research-based information, to help them follow a healthy diet and lifestyle,
and in turn, reduce their risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Research presented within this report suggests intakes of dietary components such
as omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidant nutrients have been associated
with improvements in cognition in the elderly. The dietary pattern associated with
a Mediterranean-style diet provides good sources of these nutrients, and overall is
associated with aspects of healthy ageing such as improvements in cognitive and
cardiovascular health.
A moderate intake of coffee (3–5 cups per day) may provide protection against agerelated cognitive decline and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and
Parkinson’s Disease. The association between coffee consumption and cognitive decline is
illustrated by a ‘U-shaped’ pattern in recent meta-analyses, with the greatest protection
seen at an intake of approximately 3–5 cups of coffee per day. In its Scientific Opinion on
the safety of caffeine, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that intakes
up to 400mg of caffeine (the equivalent of up to 5 cups of coffee per day), from all sources,
do not raise any concerns for healthy adults. One cup of coffee provides approximately
75–100mg caffeine.
Although the precise mechanisms of action behind the suggested association between
coffee and age-related cognitive decline are unknown, since the effect is observed with
caffeinated but not decaffeinated coffee, caffeine is likely to be involved. There are many
other compounds in coffee, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that
may play a role.
Coffee drinking also facilitates a social network in older adults, which is a key part of
healthy ageing. Making coffee consumption a social occasion can help to maintain links
with friends and neighbours
UtgivningsortBasepoint Evesham, Crab Apple Way, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 1GP
FörlagInstitute of Scientific Information Coffee (ISIC)
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - 2016-nov.


  • Nutrition
  • Older adults
  • Coffee
  • Health

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