A study of senior citizens in Florida found that drinking coffee could delay the onset of or help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The study, carried out on adults over the age of 65 in Miami and Tampa, found that those with higher levels of caffeine in their blood avoided the onset of Alzheimer's in the two- to four-year period they were monitored.
Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy, said, "These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee -- about three cups a day -- will not convert to Alzheimer's disease or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer's."
Cao added, "The results from this study, along with our earlier studies in Alzheimer's mice, are very consistent in indicating that moderate daily caffeine/coffee intake throughout adulthood should appreciably protect against Alzheimer's disease later in life."
The report, led by University of South Florida and University of Miami researchers, warned that 10 million Americans have some form of the condition.
It also found that moderate caffeine intake appeared to reduce the risk of other diseases associated with aging -- including Parkinson's disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.
The study will be published Tuesday in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.