View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Did Arabs Create the Cure for Alzheimer’s? 55 Mice Drinking Cappuccinos Think So

The Arabs invented the pleasurable pick-me-up we know as coffee but they may also have created the cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Coffee 'May Reverse Alzheimer's’
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.

Mice Enjoying a Cappuccino
The research has been carried out on 55 Floridian mice which were bred with symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Their regular fix of caffeine in the drinking water is suggesting that caffeine can hamper the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.

A Latte a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
According to the BBC article, “The mice were given the equivalent of five 8 oz (227 grams) cups of coffee a day - about 500 milligrams of caffeine.”

“The researchers say this is the same as is found in two cups of "specialty" coffees such as lattes or cappuccinos from coffee shops, 14 cups of tea, or 20 soft drinks.”

“When the mice were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia. Those drinking plain water continued to do poorly on the tests.”

Prevention and Treatment
Dr Gary Arendash, who led the latest study, told the BBC: “The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve.”

“They provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy.”

Can Arabs Take a Bow Now?
It is too soon to fire up your coffee machine for five cups a day or claim that Arabs invented the cure for Alz…… gosh, I forgot what I was going to write …

Yes, coffee or qahwa (قهوة) is a ninth century Arabic discovery.

Percolate Another Coffee and...
Read the essence of the story at this link:

Read ‘Imbibing the Emirates’—and sip beneath the froth and crema to discover how coffee and coffee customs are a big part of life in the UAE: Experiencing the Emirates.

Link: Coffee ‘May Reverse Alzheimer’s’, BBC News, 5 July 2009.

Your Preference for Alzheimer’s Prevention?
Supposing drinking coffee is both prevention and a treatment for memory loss diseases, what is your favourite way of drinking this wonder drug?

Thanks to Wikipedia for these suggestions to get your thoughts flowing:

Affogato (It. "drowned"): Espresso served over gelato. Traditionally vanilla is used, but some coffeehouses or customers use any flavor.

Americano (It. "American"): Espresso and hot water, classically using equal parts each, with the water added to the espresso. Americano was created by American G.I.s during World War I who added hot water to dilute the strong taste of the traditional espresso. Similar to a long black.

Black eye: A cup of drip coffee with two shots of espresso in it. (alternately a red-eye or Canadiano)

Bombón (Sp. "confection"): Espresso served with condensed milk. Served in Canary Islands and Mainland Spain.

Breve (It. "short"): Espresso with half-and-half.

Carajillo: (Sp. "Little kid"): Espresso with a shot of brandy, breakfast favorite in Spain for construction workers during winter.

Cappuccino: Traditionally, one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third microfoam. Often in the United States, the cappuccino is made as a cafè latte with much more foam, which is less espresso than the traditional definition would require. Sometimes topped (upon request) with a light dusting of cocoa powder.

Corretto (It. "corrected"): coffee with a shot of liquor, usually grappa or brandy. "Corretto" is also the common Italian word for "spiked (with liquor)".

Con hielo (Sp. "with ice"): Espresso with sugar immediately poured over two ice cubes, preferred in Madrid during Summer.

Cortado (Sp./Port. "cut"): Espresso "cut" with a small amount of warm milk.

Cubano (Sp. "Cuban"): Sugar is added to the collection container before brewing for a sweet flavor, different than that if the sugar is added after brewing. Sugar can also be whipped into a small amount of espresso after brewing and then mixed with the rest of the shot. Sometimes called "Cafe tinto".

Doppio: (It. "Double") Double (2 fluid ounces) shot of espresso.

Espresso con Panna (It. "espresso with cream"): Espresso with whipped cream on top.

Flat white: a coffee drink made of one-third espresso and two thirds steamed milk with little or no foam. (Very similar to "latte", see entry for lattes below)

Guillermo: Originally one or two shots of hot espresso, poured over slices of lime. Can also be served on ice, sometimes with a touch of milk.

Iced coffee: Generally refers to coffee brewed beforehand, chilled, and served over ice. In Australia, Iced Coffee generally refers to Espresso chilled over ice and then mixed with milk and ice Cream, with some chains using Gelato in place of Ice Cream. In Italy, the Iced Coffee (Caffe Freddo) is pre-sweetened and served ice-cold, but never with ice. In the United States, instead, Iced Coffee is brewed on the spot and poured over ice. In Japan iced coffee is generally served only in summer.

Latte (It. "milk"): This term is an abbreviation of "caffellatte" (or "caffè e latte"), coffee and milk. An espresso based drink with a volume of steamed milk, served with either a thin layer of foam or none at all, depending on the shop or customer's preference.

Latte macchiato (It. "stained milk"): Essentially an inverted cafè latte, with the espresso poured on top of the milk. The latte macchiato is to be differentiated from the caffè macchiato (described below). In Spain, known as "Manchada" Spanish for stained (milk).

Long Black: Similar to an Americano, but with the order reversed - espresso added to hot water.

Lungo (It. "long"): More water (about 1.5x volume) is let through the ground coffee, yielding a weaker taste (40 mL). Also known as an allongé in French.

Caffè Macchiato (It. "stained"): A small amount of milk or, sometimes, its foam is spooned onto the espresso. In Italy it further differentiates between caffè macchiato caldo (warm) and caffè macchiato freddo (cold), depending on the temperature of the milk being added; the cold version is gaining in popularity as some people are not able to stand the rather hot temperature of caffè macchiato caldo and therefore have to wait one or two minutes before being able to consume this version of the drink. The caffè macchiato is to be differentiated from the latte macchiato (described above). In France, known as a "Noisette".

Mocha: Normally, a latte blended with chocolate. This is not to be confused with the region of Yemen or the coffee associated with that region (which is often seen as 1/2 of the blend "mocha java").

Red eye: A cup of drip coffee with one shot of espresso in it.

Ristretto (It. "restricted") or Espresso Corto (It. "short"): with less water, yielding a stronger taste (10–20 mL). Café serré or Café court in French.

Solo: (It. "single") Single (1 fluid ounce) shot of espresso.

Wiener Melange (German: "Viennese blend"): coffee with milk and is similar to a Cappuccino but usually made with milder coffee (e.g. mocha), preferably caramelised.

What is your choice? Any of these? Arabic coffee? Some other?

Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: What is your choice? Any of these? Arabic coffee? Some other? (Click to enlarge)