Caffeine intake may be linked with a lower risk for dementia in older women.
That's according to a new analysis by a team of researchers published in the Journals of Gerontology, which tracked nearly 6,500 women ages 65-80 over the course of 10 years. Researchers found that participants who self-reported drinking more than 261 milligrams of caffeine cut their risk for dementia by 36%. That's almost three 8-oz cups of coffee, with each cup containing 95 mg of caffeine.
Still, study authors warned that the results weren't enough to establish a definitive cause-and-effect between caffeine intake and dementia prevention. The results may also have been influenced by the fact that the consumption data was self-reported
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"While we can't make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study, we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive health outcomes," said Dr. Ira Driscoll, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There have been a number of studies suggesting that coffee intake is correlated with better health outcomes, including lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Others analyses have also found possible links between drinking beverages like coffee and tea and protection against cognitive disorders—but since these studies usually lack the randomized trials are hailed as the scientific gold standard, scientists can't yet say for sure.