If you’ve been reading my eTips for a while now, you may have picked up on the fact that I’m particularly fascinated by the human brain and our bodies’ neurological responses to a variety of physical, emotional, and even spiritual factors.
On the one hand, there are the neurotoxins – those chemicals that we’re constantly exposed to in what we eat, drink, and even breathe in. As you know, I attribute my own Parkinson’s disease to carrying a heavy toxic load; and it’s only by ridding myself of those toxins that I’ve managed to keep the disease under control for 12 years and running.
But, on the other hand, nature has provided us with several neurostimulants that can kick-start cognition, make you feel more awake, and even boost your memory – from herbs like ginkgo biloba and peppermint to hormones found in your own body.
And then there’s the naturally-occurring compound that so many of us have come to depend on for its psychoactive properties: caffeine.
You probably know first-hand how a cup of coffee in the morning can be a great daily eye-opener.
But according to the latest research, its effects may last well past the hours you need to stay awake. you may also be reaping some long-term benefits of that caffeine, too.
In fact, its benefits could be so long-term that over the course of years, it could help you hold onto your precious memories!
In the study out of the University of Wisconsin, researchers found that women who got the equivalent of two or three coffee cups’ worth of caffeine were less likely to get dementia than women who consumed smaller amounts of caffeine.
In fact, it cut their risk by more than a THIRD!
And these weren’t some small, inconsequential findings. The large-scale Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – and it surveyed 6,500 elderly women over the course of ten years.
Now, if you want to experience the benefits of caffeine, stick to natural sources like cocoa beans, coffee beans, and tea instead of caffeinated sodas (which are toxic for so many reasons) or caffeine pills (which contain a synthetic version of caffeine).
Black tea has about half the caffeine of coffee, so it would take four or five cups a day for the same benefit as coffee. Green tea packs a little stronger of a punch – it takes about three cups of it to equal the caffeine in a cup of coffee – and is also rich in antioxidants.
Just keep in mind that the more caffeine you drink, the more it can interrupt your sleep. Sleep already tends to get disrupted as we get older, and a study I shared with you earlier this year showed that lack of sleep can set you up for Alzheimer’s .
So, rather than drinking caffeinated beverages (or taking caffeine pills) to try to stay awake, it may be time to try to get more quality sleep.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Caffeine consumption in older women seems to reduce risk of dementia, washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/caffeine-consumption-in-older-women-seems-to-reduce-risk-of-dementia/2016/10/03/7ae7513c-8714-11e6-92c2-14b64f3d453f_story.html