A U.S. study has found drinking five cups a day not only protects against Alzheimer's disease but may reverse damage.
Scientists at the University of Florida tested their theory on 55 mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's then gave half the test group caffeine in their water once signs of memory impairment became apparent.
Astonishingly, and to the delight of the cafe latte set, those dosed up on caffeine performed far better on memory tests and thinking skills than those who were not given caffeine, The Tech Herald reports.
Dr Arendash, who led the study at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre (ADRC) in Tampa, said: "The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease, and not simply a protective strategy.”
"That's important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people. It easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process," Telegraph.co.uk reports.
Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Previous research into caffeine and dementia has suggested that it could delay Alzheimer's disease and even protect against vascular dementia.
"This research in mice suggests coffee may actually reverse some element of memory impairment," Hunt added, The Times of India reports.
USF researchers hope to begin human trials soon to evaluate whether humans experience similar results, Ivanhoe reports.