Coffee Can Help Protect Women's Memories

A recent study by researchers at the French National Institute of Medical Research finds that coffee protects women from age-related memory loss. The study tracked more than 7,000 men and women living in three French cities. The researchers observed the subjects' health and mental function and questioned them about their past and present eating habits, friends, and daily activities. The study found that the more coffee drank, the better the effects appeared to be for women's memory function, however men did not receive the same benefit.

According to lead researcher, Karen Ritchie, the information gathered from the study was used to identify the specific impact of caffeine on certain aspects of women's lives. They found that women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day, or caffeine equivalent in tea, were able to retain more of their verbal and, to a lesser extent, visual memories over four years.

The female subjects displayed a 33 percent lower risk of having verbal memory declines and 18 percent lower risk of having visual and spatial memory declines, in comparison to women who drank one cup of coffee or less per day. This effect also appeared to be related to age as women over 80 had more benefits from caffeine drinks compared to others 10 to 15 years younger.

Some research done with mice suggests that caffeine might block the accumulation of proteins that lead to mental decline. Dr. Ritchie claims that caffeine is a psychostimulant that reduces cognitive decline in women even after adjusting for factors that could affect memory function such as age, education, disability, depression and medications. So women take note: that one extra cup of coffee a day just might keep your memory from going astray.


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