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Ladies, you can raise your glass — or at least your coffee mug — to this: New research shows that higher caffeine consumption is associated with a lower dementia risk.
Specifically, consuming more than 261 mg per day is associated with a 36 percent lower risk of dementia or other cognitive impairment over a decade, according to a large study of women that was recently published in The Journals of Gerontology.
That amount of caffeine is equivalent to:
- Two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee.
- Five to six 8-ounce cups of black tea.
- Seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.
The study findings are based on an analysis of data on 6,467 postmenopausal women aged 65 and older who consume caffeine. These women had also been followed for up to 10 years, getting annual assessments of their brain function.
During that time, 388 of the women were diagnosed with probable dementia or another form of cognitive impairment. Those who consumed more than the median amount of caffeine for the group, however, were diagnosed at a lower rate than those who consumed less than that.
This finding, the researchers note, is consistent with existing research that indicates an inverse association between caffeine intake and dementia risk.
Lead study author Ira Driscoll, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, adds that this observational study does not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between caffeine consumption and dementia risk. Still, she concludes:
“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.”
For more ways to ward off brain impairment, check out “7 Free or Cheap Ways to Boost Your Brain Power.”
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