Caffeine can be found in many things naturally and is increasingly being added to other items on the market today so it is important to be aware of the effects of caffeine on seniors. Caffeine can be both good and bad for people so it is important to do your research before consuming caffeine. In this article we would like to offer some information about the health benefits of caffeine for seniors.
Coffee is a favorite caffeinated beverage for many people and the caffeine in coffee can provide many health benefits. Coffee is said to lower the risk of many health issues such as Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, liver disease and colon, skin and liver cancer. Research shows that caffeine can help lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by protecting brain cells as we age. Some studies suggest that when consumed on a daily basis caffeine can lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by as much as 80% and the more caffeine you consume; the less likely you are to get the disease. It can also help with headaches by causing the blood vessels in the brain to constrict after consumption and many pain relievers actually contain caffeine for that reason. Consuming caffeine on a daily basis helps prevent gallstones by stimulating the gallbladder to keep gallstones from developing and has been shown to decrease the chance of developing gallstones by nearly 50%. Liver and colon cancer risks can be lowered by drinking caffeine as well, although statistics in this area only show a 25% lower risk. The risk of skin cancer on the other hand can be reduced by around 40% with caffeine consumption.
Coffee is also said to improve cognitive function and increase endurance in many people because of the caffeine. Many people enjoy caffeinated beverages or products because caffeine helps to decrease fatigue. Once seniors are less fatigued they will be able to think more clearly and participate in activities longer. Caffeine also causes the brain to release dopamine which provides many people with an overall sense of feeling good or happy. Caffeine can provide people with energy but it is important to consume it in moderation. Moderation is defined as 3 to 4 cups a day of caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea which comes out to about 300 to 400 mg of caffeine. Seniors should keep that amount in mind when deciding what beverages to drink during the day because too much caffeine consumption puts seniors at risk of experiencing the negative side effects of caffeine.
High blood pressure is a common concern for coffee drinkers but studies in this area are not conclusive and the issue is still being researched. While some studies suggest that caffeine raises blood pressure, others suggest that it actually lowers blood pressure. Seniors can have their blood pressure checked regularly if they are still concerned to assess how caffeine affects their body. Seniors that are at risk for heart disease can also consume caffeine because some research indicates that caffeine can lower the risk of heart disease and liver damage in many individuals, such as those that are heavy smokers or drinkers.
There is also some evidence to say that caffeine can help with asthma symptoms and prevent cavities, but at this point extensive research has not been completed so seniors should not expect caffeine to completely treat or prevent either of these conditions. According to one study caffeine helps reduce respiratory muscle fatigue which helps improve lung function in those with asthma. As for cavity prevention, coffee is known to have antibacterial agents which act against certain microorganisms that cause cavities. Studies suggest that coffee prevents the microorganisms from adhering to the enamel of the teeth and wearing it down. Again, seniors should not try to use caffeine as a substitute for an inhaler or regular dental care, but they can add caffeine to their daily routine for extra protection.
Caffeine is usually harmless in moderation so seniors who enjoy coffee or other caffeinated beverages can consider cutting down their caffeine consumption without having to give it up completely. If caffeine is consumed regularly and in moderation seniors can enjoy the benefits that caffeine can provide. When consuming caffeine it is important for seniors to keep an eye on how many milligrams they are consuming on a daily basis and to take in enough water to prevent dehydration. Seniors should also look for products that contain natural caffeine instead of added caffeine because natural caffeine is better for the body. Seniors can look for our next article which will cover the health risks associated with caffeine consumption.
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