7 Health Benefits Of Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most widely used substances today. It has been used for centuries and continues to be a favourite beverage to many today. You have possibly heard so much about what makes caffeine terrible for you. From addiction and dehydration to yellowing of your teeth, many reports have been published about why you should abstain from or cut down your level of coffee consumption.

Nevertheless, the substance is not without its benefits. It is perhaps why many Americans use it. As of 2014, about 68 million Americans consumed at least 3 cups of coffee on a daily basis. At the same time, 30 million Americans drink more than 5 cups daily. Out of the 68 million, 21 million have more than 6 cups daily. Statistics also indicate that 85% of adults in America use some type of caffeine. On average they consume 164 mg daily.

The stimulant is obtained from over 60 types of plants around the world. Among these coffee and tea are the top suppliers of the substance. It is also found largely in some of the top energy drinks sold in the US such as Red Bull and Monster.

So if caffeine is bad, why does such a high number of people use it? To explore this we will look at some of its top health benefit.

1. Delay Dementia

Extensive studies have indicated that the consumption of caffeine can help slow down the advancement of dementia. Particularly, it can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Caffeine prevents the inflammation that is caused by adenosine receptors in the brain. Such an inflammation kicks off the decline of the mind’s cognitive abilities.

It has been observed that the elderly (above 65 years) with a high caffeine content in their blood have delayed Alzheimer’s. In some cases, they managed to avoid it altogether.

An experiment conducted on mice by Gregory Freund to test their ability to form new memories found that mice that had caffeine in their blood formed new memories 33% faster as compared to the mice without it. The mice were first subjected to breathing and blood flow interruptions to create an effect that matches the impact of Alzheimer’s on the human brain.

The scientist found that the interruption of blood and oxygen ( called hypoxia) starts a chain reaction whose impact is cognitive decline. The stimulant helps in minimizing the effect of the chain reaction.

It was found that hypoxia causes adenosine to be released into the brain. When adenosine leaks into the brain, it activates the caspase-1-enzyme which in turn activates the production of beta IL-1. The latter causes inflammation. The effect of caffeine is to block the adenosine receptors when the brain gets subjected to disorders such as Alzheimer’s.