Of all of the intriguing subjects under the sun, none of them outranks coffee’s misunderstood health benefits/drawbacks in notoriety and controversy. Both in equal measure. While some critics are busy bashing this world famous beverage for it’s supposed detrimental downsides such as acidosis, high blood pressure, insomnia, etc., coffee diehards are relentlessly showing the world the numerous health perks attached to coffee. But that’s beside the point. Recently, brain scans have revealed that caffeine might have a greater effect on your brain other than simply boosting your short term memory capacity or increasing your concentration span.
For starters, there is really no doubt that the caffeine in coffee (to some extent, i.e.,) is a preventive factor in preventing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If anything, according to a leading neurologists from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – Dr David Elmenhorst – a recent investigation shows that moderate coffee drinking (3-5 cups per day) at midlife significantly delays the onset of dementia in the sunset years.
Secondly, a 2010 study cements the theory that regular coffee intake is beneficial to the human brain by outlining the fact that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment). Those of us who are well-versed in the health circles know that MCI is one of the major precursors to the life-threatening Alzheimer’s and dementia. In short, what the 1445-people study underlined was that people who hadn’t or rarely drank coffee were at a higher risk of developing neuro-related illnesses than those whom coffee was indeed ‘a cup of tea’. And recently (2014 to be exact) a new journal supported this idea that coffee has some subtle neuroprotective properties – although this is still further study.
Is Coffee The Best Thing to Happen To The Human Brain?
Well, let’s not be so quick to jump to conclusions here. Everything good has its dark side, and even coffee is no exception here. But the negative mental impacts of coffee seem to vary from one person to another. There are those of us who become suddenly nervous, irritable and anxious after our first cup of coffee. Then there those of us who try to use to push their endurance levels past their natural limits when working late at night or at the gym. All these physical observations only prove one thing – coffee can indeed disrupt the body’s internal clock and stir up unwanted emotions.
This observation starts to make even more sense when you consider the fact that caffeine is considered to be the world’s most abused/consumed psychoactive drug. And coffee contains tons of it – not literally, of course. Not to mention that caffeine distorts natural sleep patterns, induces insomnia and to some individuals, it greatly affects their productivity especially if they are already hooked on it and are trying to quit.
So at the end of the day, the question remains to be, are the short-term coffee mental drawbacks worth the long-term pros? Yes, you might be staving off dementia in your later years, but is subjecting yourself to an unnecessary possible caffeine dependency (in the meantime) by including coffee as an accompaniment to each of your regular meals worth it? Well, we will leave that up to you!