31 Mar Caffeine & Dementia
More Coffee or Tea? Caffeine May Protect Your Brain from Dementia
What: A recent review article in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging showed the potential long-term benefit of caffeine use in lowering dementia risk. Researchers reviewed the existing data to consider the possible benefits of caffeine for reducing dementia risk, as well as the potential mechanisms by which caffeine may work to lower that risk. They found a strong association between regular use of coffee, tea, or other caffeine-containing foods and reduced dementia risk.
Why This Matters: Caffeine has been associated with improved everyday cognitive performance. However, its effect on long-term dementia risk remains unclear, as does the means by which it might reduce that risk. Since coffee, tea and other caffeinated products are popular in diets around the globe, more knowledge about potential positive benefits of caffeine vis-à-vis dementia risk would be an important to know. In addition the researchers question whether there may be differential effects based on one’s genetics or metabolism or caffeine, such that there might be a way to determine an optimal “dose” of caffeine for dementia risk reduction.
The Takeaway: It appears that caffeine, most specifically coffee, may have long-term benefits for our brains. While the current studies looking at these long-term effects are small, this review offers compelling reasons for further research. It also gives us a great excuse to have that extra cup!
CYNTHIA GREEN, PHD is a clinical psychologist, author, and one of America’s foremost experts on brain health. Known for her ability to make the complex science of memory improvement and brain fitness engaging, actionable for all audiences, and fun, Dr. Green’s smart and personable presentation style has made her one of the most sought-after speakers on the topic.