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Real life opinions

Clare Q

Registered User
Nov 19, 2004
University of Lincoln
I am a 3rd year media student at University of Lincoln and I need your help! I am researching for a television documentary based on the BBC's recent Should I worry About? programmes. I have looked into the health issues relating to caffeine and discovered the possible positive effects it can have on stopping diseases such as Alzheimer's. Although I will not be making the programme, part of the project includes interviewing people that we would include in the show for our project file. I am hoping to speak to someone that has had to deal with the disease either themselves or through friends and relatives. I am interested in finding out if anyone has ever heard about the studies into caffeine, and if so, has it changed how you consume it? If anyone can help me out I would be extremely grateful.


Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
Hi Clare,

Just my thoughts here.

Nothing would encourage me to increase my caffiene intake. This drug has a lot of hidden dangers and is addictive albeit incredibly tasty. For example, caffeine directly affects your daily cortisol levels (cortisol is the bodies stress inhibitor) - and messing with your cortisol can mess up your bodies balance. I moderate a list for people with CSR (Central Serous Retinopathy) and we have found direct links between high cortisol levels and the onset of CSR. This is just one of the many hidden dangers. You may like to see the following link http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine2.html - there are many pages like this discouraging people to make caffiene a life time drug.

Could you point me to any articles that promote the benefits of increased caffiene intake (to prevent alzheimer's).

Kind Regards

Clare Q

Registered User
Nov 19, 2004
University of Lincoln

Thanks for the link. It certainly seems to be a difficult issue to decide on. While evidence has shown it helps stop the onset of some conditions, it also causes others. We started researching into coffee in general first, so most of the sites below are based specifically on coffee, but they all give information into the studies concerning caffeine and Alzheimer's.



Registered User
May 20, 2003
Hello Clare and Craig

A good starting point for any research of the literature is always 'our' - the Alzheimer's Society's own website !! - QRD (Quality research in dementia) is the Societys's research section & a reliable comment on the most uptodate research canusually be found by doing a search.

From the Alzheimer's Societys website :

Mind your head: risk factors and dementia

Can drinking coffee/tea affect your risk of dementia?

There have been suggestions that caffeine might delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has involved only small numbers of people and often relied on their memory of how much coffee they drank much earlier in their lives. It is hoped that current research will yield a clearer picture of the impact of known caffeine consumption on dementia risk.

What the research tells us

There are three effects of caffeine that might enable it to protect against or reverse brain changes related to dementia. Firstly, it can stimulate brain cells to take in choline. This is the building block they need to make acetylcholine, the brain chemical, or neurotransmitter, that is reduced in dementia.

Secondly, caffeine interferes with the action of another neurotransmitter called adenosine. It has been suggested that this action, or the 'knock-on' effect on other neurotransmitters, might be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease.

Finally, chemicals related to caffeine seem to be able to damp down the activity of 'housekeeping' cells in the brain, called glia. A recent review of one such chemical, propentofylline, concluded that it might benefit cognition, global function and activities of daily living in people with Alzheimer's disease and/or vascular dementia, but further information is awaited.
While glia are important in keeping the brain free of dead and injured cells, their activity can sometimes be too thorough, and can damage surrounding brain areas. Whether caffeine can keep glial activity in check in such a way that it could prevent dementia is not known.

Should I start drinking more coffee/tea?

It is certainly too soon to say that our morning coffee or afternoon cup of tea is more than a pleasant pick-me-up.

Where to find out more:

Sci ref: Frampton M et al. (2003) Propentofylline for Dementia (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2 2003. Oxford: Update Software

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