Factor X in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimer's

Thursday, 30 June 2011, 12:49 Hrs
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Washington: An unidentified component of coffee interacts with the beverage's caffeine which seemingly offers protection against Alzheimer's.

A new mouse study by University of South Florida has found that this interaction boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to counteract Alzheimer's disease process.

Using mice engineered to breed Alzheimer's, researchers presented the first evidence that caffeinated coffee offers protection against the memory-robbing disease that is not possible with other caffeine-containing drinks or decaffeinated coffee.

Previous observational studies in humans reported that daily coffee/caffeine intake during mid-life and in older age decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease says.

The researchers' earlier studies in Alzheimer's mice indicated that caffeine was likely the ingredient in coffee that provides this protection because it decreases brain production of the abnormal protein beta-amyloid, which is thought to be the cause of the disease, according to a Florida statement.

The new study does not diminish the importance of caffeine to protect against Alzheimer's. Rather, it shows that caffeinated coffee induces an increase in blood levels of a growth factor called GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor).

GCSF is a substance greatly decreased in patients with Alzheimer's disease and shown to improve memory in Alzheimer's mice.

"Caffeinated coffee provides a natural increase in blood GCSF levels," said University of South Florida neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, who led the study.
Source: IANS
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