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How Caffeine Can Protect Seniors from Memory Loss

Caffeine has spent years fighting a bad rap. Now, recent research is siding with caffeine by illuminating the benefits people can reap by regularly drinking coffee. In honor of Caffeine Awareness Month, Santa Clarita Home Care Assistance explores how caffeine may help combat memory loss.

Improved Memory for 24 Hours

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that the caffeine in coffee can strengthen and enhance long-term memory up to 24 hours after it’s consumed. In the tests, participants were shown a set of images then given either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine pill. After 24 hours, those who took the pill could more easily identify images that were similar but not identical to those seen the previous day.

Better Afternoon Brain Function

Researchers have also found that caffeine kick starts adult brainpower when consumed in the afternoon, a time when adult cognitive arousal is usually the lowest. Seniors may find their memory functions better with some caffeine in the morning and in the afternoon.

Increased Protection Against Alzheimer’s

Several studies show that coffee and caffeine consumption helps protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases by guarding the blood-brain barrier. The effects seemed to be the strongest in test participants who drank the most caffeine.

Caffeine seems to boost memory best in people who consume it regularly, and men are more likely to benefit from the memory-boosting powers of caffeine than women. However, these benefits may even out between the sexes once women go through menopause and their estrogen levels decrease.

The best effect comes from consuming 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, or about three or four cups. Coffee or tea is best because of the additional antioxidants they contain.

If your aging parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, find the additional resources you both need and deserve by reaching out to Home Care Assistance at 661.259.9914. We offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia care Santa Clarita families trust, with help available on an hourly or live-in basis and customized to the client’s individual needs. Call a friendly Care Manager today. We’re here to help.