Scientists from Niigata University in Japan and elsewhere found that coffee and caffeine intake are linked to reduced dementia risk.
Dementia is a group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.
Not a specific disease, dementia is a group of conditions characterized by impairment of at least two brain functions, such as memory loss and judgment.
Symptoms include forgetfulness, limited social skills, and thinking abilities so impaired that it interferes with daily functioning.
Green tea and coffee have multiple health benefits in common, including their high antioxidant content.
Caffeine could increase attention and alertness and may improve mental alertness, speed reasoning, and memory.
Coffee, green tea, and caffeine may be protective factors for dementia, but the evidence is insufficient.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine associations between the intake of coffee, green tea, and caffeine and dementia risk in middle-aged and older people.
They followed more than 13,000 people for about 8 years. Participants were community-dwelling people aged 40-74 years. The people reported their coffee and tea intake via a food questionnaire survey.
The outcome was incident dementia obtained from the long-term care insurance database.
The researchers found the number of dementia cases during the study period was 309.
Participants who drank more coffee had a lower dementia risk. Compared with people who drank the least coffee, people with the highest coffee intake had a much lower dementia risk.
Similarly, people with higher caffeine consumption had a much lower dementia risk.
These associations were only strong in men, but not in women.
Moreover, participants who drank 2-2.9 cups/day and ≥3 cups/day of coffee had lower dementia risks than those who consumed 0 cups/day.
The team also found the association between green tea intake and reduced dementia risk was strong only in people aged 60-69 years.
Based on these findings, the researchers suggest that high levels of coffee and caffeine intake were strongly linked to reduced dementia risk, especially in men.
Moreover, coffee consumption of ≥3 cups/day was linked to a 50% reduction in dementia risk.
The research was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and conducted by Nana Matsushita et al.
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