Good news, coffee lovers. A new study has uncovered a significant link between caffeine consumption in older women and a reduced risk of dementia.
Although researchers have yet to establish a “cause and effect” between the two, they did find a strong relationship between higher caffeine consumption in women 65 and older and a lower risk of developing dementia or cognitive impairment.
Specifically, those women who self-reported drinking more than 261 milligrams of caffeine per day ― or about two to three eight-ounce cups of coffee or five to six eight-ounce cups of black tea ― enjoyed a 36 percent decline in their risk of getting dementia during a 10 year follow-up period.
“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,” Ira Driscoll, the study’s lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“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,” Driscoll said.
Participants in the study, published in the Journals of Gerontology, came from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Driscoll and the other researchers utilized information on 6,467 post-menopausal women who said they consumed caffeine. Researchers asked questions about coffee, tea and cola intake in order to determine consumption.
Of course, there’s more to it than just drinking coffee, sleep positions and knitting. Other studies have found that people with high blood sugar, depression and other chronic conditions are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.
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