Your Morning Coffee May Help Fight Dementia, According to New Study

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I know that nothing perks me up in the morning or lifts me out of a afternoon slump like a cup of coffee. But caffeine can do a lot more than just wake you up — it also may boast a range of awesome health benefits. Case in point: A March 2017 study from Indiana University Bloomington has found that caffeine may actually help prevent the onset of dementia.

The study, conducted by a team of experts at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, found that caffeine is one of 24 compounds that can help protect your brain against dementia. How? According to the researchers, caffeine boosts the production of an enzyme called NMNAT24, which combats misfolded proteins that are known to cause neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.

To prove this, researchers administered caffeine to mice that were modified to produce lower levels of NMNAT24. After they ingested it, the mice once again began producing normal levels of the enzyme, proving that the caffeine did have a positive effect.

And that’s not the only bonus effect that was found. In addition to increasing the production of NMNAT24, caffeine also shown to improve memory function in mice that had high levels of misfolded proteins. That’s right — your morning cup of coffee may not only defend against degenerative brain diseases, it can also actually help boost a lagging memory. Now that’s a powerful cup of coffee.

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Let’s be honest — most people probably don’t need any more reason to indulge in a daily caffeine fix other than sheer necessity to function. But knowing that your morning roast also comes with a range of bonus health benefits will take your appreciation for caffeine to a whole new level.