Coffee and dementia are complicated. Does coffee lessen or increase your chances of developing dementia. It depends on which study your read.
What is the Relationship Between Coffee and Dementia?
The answer is that the jury is still out on this question. The studies have yielded conflicting results. One of the big problems is that there is no practical way to control for all other lifestyle factors that might affect the development of the disease and focus just on coffee consumption.
Some studies show that coffee may have a protective effect, but this new study shows the opposite.
New Study on Coffee and Dementia
In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that high coffee consumption is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia.
Conducted at UniSA’s Australian Centre for Precision Health at SAHMRI and a team of international researchers, the study assessed the effects of coffee on the brain among 17,702 UK Biobank participants (aged 37-73), finding that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a 53 per cent increased risk of dementia.
According to lead researcher and UniSA PhD candidate, Kitty Pham, this research delivers important insights for public health:
• Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world.
• Yet with global consumption being more than nine billion kilograms a year, it’s critical that we understand any potential health implications.
• This is the most extensive investigation into the connections between coffee, brain volume measurements, the risks of dementia, and the risks of stroke — it’s also the largest study to consider volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding factors.
• Accounting for all possible permutations, the study consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with reduced brain volume.
• Drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke.
Statements from Researchers
• Senior investigator and Director of UniSA’s Australian Centre for Precision Health, Professor Elina Hyppönen, says while the news may be a bitter brew for coffee lovers, it’s all about finding a balance between what you drink and what’s good for your health.
• According to Prof Hyppönen “This research provides vital insights about heavy coffee consumption and brain health, but as with many things in life, moderation is the key.
• Together with other genetic evidence and a randomized controlled trial, these data strongly suggest that high coffee consumption can adversely affect brain health.
• If you’re finding that your coffee consumption is heading up toward more than six cups a day, it’s about time you rethink your next drink.”
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