Caffeine May Prevent Dementia

Caffeine may protect against loss of memory or thinking skills in older women, according to a study published in Neurology. The researchers studied cognitive decline, dementia and caffeine intake of 4,197 women and 2,820 men aged 65 and over in three French cities for four years. They tested the participants' cognitive skills at the start of the study and again at years two and four.

The results showed that compared to women who drank only one cup a day or less, women who drank three or more cups of coffee or tea a day had a 33 per cent reduced risk of decline in verbal retrieval over the four years. The protective effect of caffeine appeared to increase with age, rising from a 27 per cent reduced risk for women aged 65 to 74, to 70 per cent for women aged 80 and over. No link between caffeine and cognitive decline was found in men, nor was caffeine consumption found to affect the incidence of dementia over the four years of the study. Before you increase your coffee intake, note that other studies suggest that caffeine can raise blood sugar and blood pressure. The question of benefits or harm from caffeine is far from settled. Journal reference; more on caffeine


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