Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Coffee coffee coffee?

I recently a week ago (but I am slow in finishing this post) read a news report:

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Middle-aged people who drink moderate amounts of coffee significantly reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a study by Finnish and Swedish researchers showed Thursday.

I don't know any Finnish or Swedish coffee drinkers, but I was raised by a bunch of Norwegiean coffee drinkers. Close enough?

I grew up in a family of Norwegian women. Coffee was vitally important to them, not just the two cups of morning coffee which I live for, but also afternoon coffee, which never interested me, and the after-dinner coffee, which would keep me awake forever.

I did drink coffee at an early age, albeit diluted by a lot of milk in my early double-digits. In my later teens I asserted my individuality by asking coffee. Oh, that shocked them almost as much as when I got me a boyfriend.

So...a recap of the Norwegian coffee drinkers I knew:

Eldest aunt: died at 96, no Alzheimer's. She was physically incapacitated due to arthritis, but hung in there until her husband passed away. After that...all she wanted was to join him in heaven.

Middle aunt: died at 92, had dementia but not from Alzheimer's. It was from Normal pressure hydrocephalus: "If normal pressure hydrocephalus is diagnosed early, the internal fluid pressure may be lowerable by putting in a shunt. This can stop the dementia, the gait problems, and the incontinence from getting worse." (All those links are from where I copied that from.) She chose not to have a shunt... (This is the birdwatching Aunt with All the A names.)

My mother, the youngest sister: died at 85. She had other physical problems, but she had her wits about her up until the end. Dammit, though, she should have had a few more years. She was the premature child of a tuburcular mother. Yes, lung problems did her in.

Well, that's my maternal family story of coffee vs. Alzheimer's. A moderate amount of anything won't hurt you. Who knows if it helps.

P.S. Paternal comments from my "Far" are welcome. I know you drink some coffee. But you keep your mental saw sharp in many other ways, by always reading, learning and doing new things. My father is quite amazing.


Aly @ Lip Zip said...

Goodness gracious! Those are some long lives you've had in your family. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. She definitely got jipped and you did too.

Dave said...

My father never drank coffee in his life and died early in his late fifties.
Mother drank it all her life and is going strong in her late seventies.
I think moderation is the key for sure.

Anonymous said...

I drink "candy coffee", lot's of sugar and lots of cream!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My MIL drinks a pot a day--she's only in her 60's, but boy is she in tip-top health.

Far said...

Your father's family is not so long lived. At 82 I'm the family patriarch, eldest son of an eldest son, and survivor of 8 near death experiences. Next week we visit the last survivor of the previous generation for photo IDs and family history. Far, out.

Vanessa said...

I think I blow past moderation with my coffee consumption. Most days I joke that if I were to have a papercut, coffee would seep out. Hope that means I'm covered!

Louise said...

I'm going to have to try getting there with the reading and other things to keep my mind sharp. To tolerate coffee I have to put so much other stuff in it that I would die from diabetes or heart disease!