Many of us like to start off our morning with a cup of coffee or tea. And now there may be good reasons for doing so. A study recently published in the journal PLOS Medicine reported that drinking coffee or tea may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia. The study was done on a group of healthy individuals aged 50-74. It was also associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia.
The study t0ok place at Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China. It included 365,682 participants from the UK Biobank, who were recruited between 2006 and 2010 and followed them until 2020. At the outset participants self-reported their coffee and tea intake. Over the study period, 5,079 participants developed dementia and 10,053 experienced at least one stroke.
People who drank 2-3 cups of coffee or 3-5 cups of tea per day, or a combination of 4–6 cups of coffee and tea had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia. Individuals who drank 2-3 cups of coffee and 2-3 cups of tea daily had a 32% lower risk of stroke and a 28% lower risk of dementia compared with those who drank neither. Intake of coffee alone or in combination with tea was also associated with lower risk of post-stroke dementia.
The study was described as “interesting” and “robustly conducted”, but reviewers stressed that more work needed to be done to fully understand the potential biological links between tea and coffee and stroke and dementia risk. What generally happened is that the risk of stroke or dementia was lower in people who drank reasonably small amounts of coffee or tea compared to those who drank none at all, but that after a certain level of consumption, the risk started to increase again until it became higher than the risk to people who drank none.
Once the coffee consumption got up to seven or eight cups a day, the stroke risk was greater than for people who drank no coffee, and quite a lot higher than for those who drank two or three cups a day.
Researchers concluded that for most of us, our risk of dementia depends on the complex interaction of our age, genetics and lifestyle. Understanding which aspects of our lifestyle have the greatest effect on our brain health is key to empowering people to make informed decisions about their lives. The authors concluded that the findings suggested that moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination were associated with lower risk of stroke and dementia.
Source PLOS Medical