ZocdocAnswersCan coffee cause Alzheimer's disease?

Question

Can coffee cause Alzheimer's disease?

I read a study recently that drinking a couple strong cups of coffee every day can help ward off Alzheimer's. Is this real? If it is, can you get those benefits by drinking tea or eating chocolate? Should we all be drinking more coffee?

Answer

I applaud you for staying as informed as possible about the latest research going on in medicine. The best physician to discuss issues you read about like this one is your primary care physician. I am familiar with the study that looked at coffee consumption and Alzheimer's disease. It was a retrospective study looked at already existing data for associations between 2 things (in this case coffee and Alzheimer's. They are used to suggest possible preventative measures that can later be proven by larger prospective studies. Thus, while the association found between coffee drinking and Alzheimer's in this study is interesting, the level of proof is probably not enough to recommend using coffee for that purpose. These retrospective studies have been wrong before. Neither tea nor chocolate was found to have that same association. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with our primary care physician. Bring with you the article about coffee and Alzheimer's disease. You can has his or her advice as to whether it would be beneficial for you to intentionally incorporate 2-3 cups of coffee into your diet. This is important because only your doctor can tell you whether the benefits of coffee can out weigh the risks (especially with regards to your heart). Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.