Drinking coffee may reduce dementia risk
As if we needed another reason to have another mug of coffee, science has come up with a good one – it helps keep the brain sharp.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee analysed data on over 6,400 post-menopausal women aged 65 and older who reported some level of caffeine consumption. The findings showed that caffeine consumption of more than 261 mg per day was associated with a 36 per cent reduction in the risk of dementia over 10 years of follow-up.
Such caffeine consumption is equivalent to two to three 8-oz cups of coffee per day, five to six 8-oz cups of black tea, or seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.
"The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor with very few contraindications," said study author Doctor Ira Driscoll.
"What is unique about this study is that we had an unprecedented opportunity to examine the relationships between caffeine intake and dementia incidence in a large and well-defined, prospectively-studied cohort of women."
Still, study authors warned that the results weren’t enough to establish a definitive cause-and-effect between caffeine intake and dementia prevention.
The results may also have been influenced by the fact that the consumption data was self-reported.
"While we can't make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study, we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive health outcomes," Dr. Driscoll explained.
Researchers now hope to conduct further investigations into how caffeine may be beneficial from a preventative standpoint.
The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology.