Coffee really CAN help to prevent dementia: Just two cups a day 'cuts the risk of developing it by 36 per cent'
- Researchers assessed caffeine consumption in women over the age of 65
- They found drinking 261 milligrams cut the risk of dementia after 10 years
- That is the equivalent to two cups of coffee or around six cups of black tea
- However, experts aren't quite sure why caffeine helps to prevent dementia
It's tasty, warm and gives you a much needed energy boost - just about everybody loves a cup of coffee.
But now scientists claim the hot drink is more than just an enjoyable treat, it can actually help to prevent the onslaught of dementia.
Women over the age of 65 who had a normal caffeine intake were 36 per cent less likely to develop a cognitive impairment, a study found.
Coffee is more than just an enjoyable treat, it can actually help to prevent the onslaught of dementia, scientists claim
However, experts haven't quite put their finger on why just two cups of coffee a day can help to prevent dementia.
Researchers, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, assessed 6,467 women over the age of 65 and their daily self-reported caffeine consumption.
Intake was estimated from questions about coffee, tea and cola consumption, including frequency and serving size.
Participants were then followed up for 10 years with annual assessments of their cognitive ability.
They found drinking more than 261 milligrams of caffeine - the equivalent of two Short coffees in Starbucks - was linked to a 36 per cent reduction in the risk of dementia after 10 years.
However, the researchers aren't quite sure why caffeine helps to prevent dementia.
Women over the age of 65 who had a normal caffeine intake were 36 per cent less likely to develop a cognitive impairment, a study discovered
But they know that caffeine binds to receptors in the brain and could be an avenue for them to explore further, they say.
Lead researcher Ira Driscoll 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.
'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.
'Research on this topic will be beneficial not only from a preventative standpoint but also to better understand the underlying mechanisms and their involvement in dementia and cognitive impairment.'
The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.
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