Can Drinking Coffee Lower Down Older Women's Risk For Dementia?

First Posted: Oct 03, 2016 04:16 AM EDT

A lot of people love drinking coffee in the morning, or sometimes every chance they get. Experts claim that it may be one of the most common risk factors in the development of type-2 diabetes. However, a new study suggests that older women who consume two to three cups of coffee every day may have a decreased risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive impairments.

According to Consumer Reports, scientists have doubted that caffeine can help the brain function. However, those hints were only based on animal studies like mice and rats. Ira Driscoll, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and some colleagues wanted to test the theory on people. for the study, they analyzed data from 6,367 women , aged 65 years old and above, who were followed for more than 10 years.

The study revealed that these women drank different kinds of caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and cola. Once a year, Driscoll and her colleagues checked the cognitive status of the participants as well as ask them about their caffeine consumption. As the study progressed, 388 participants were diagnosed with cognitive decline, including dementia.

Compared to women who drink a low volume of caffeine, which in the investigation is less than 64 milligrams a day, those who consume more than 261 milligrams of caffeine daily had a 36 percent reduced risk of being diagnosed with cognitive impairment or illusive insanity. Medical News Today reported researchers noticing that 261 milligrams of caffeine are equivalent to two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee a day or five to six 8-ounce cup of black tea.

Meanwhile, reported that experts are also not sure how caffeine works to reduce cognitive impairment. However, they believe that it has something to do with the blocking of specific chemical receptors in the brain known as adenosine A2A receptors. Researchers explained that as people age, those receptors can begin to function abnormally, affecting the regions of our brain that control learning and memory.

However, Driscoll warned that the link between higher caffeine consumption and lower rates of dementia isn't conclusive. "The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting," she says, but more research needs to be done before we understand, for example, the amount of caffeine that provides the best protection.

Meanwhile, the team had the same findings even after considering a number of factors such as age, race, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol intake, depression, high blood pressure, sleep quality, and history of cardiovascular disease.

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