Coffee and Dementia?
Is coffee a wonder drug or a problem? Some new research focuses on heavy caffeine users and the risk of dementia. So does coffee help or hurt your brain? Let’s find out.
Prior Blogs on the Health Effects of Coffee
Coffee is an interesting health subject. Here’s what we know based on my research:
- There is a caffeine metabolism gene that means that you are born a slow or fast caffeine metabolizer.
- Drinking coffee may help your athletic performance
- People that drink more coffee may die earlier and there are genetic specific effects of caffeine, especially for that for those prone to diabetes, where coffee is bad news
The New Research
A research team from the University of South Australia looked at the effects of caffeine on the brain among almost 18 thousand UK biobank participants. Those who drank 6 cups of coffee or more had a 53% increased risk of dementia as well as an increased risk for stroke. Specifically, the researchers found a strong correlation between the amount of coffee consumed and reduced brain volume. That’s an indicator of brain atrophy, which is a bad thing.
The Positives and Negatives of Coffee
The good? If you have the right genes, coffee in moderation at 1-2 cups a day is probably a good thing. If you have a tendency toward metabolic syndrome and prediabetes, coffee is likely not your friend. Doubly so if you have a slow metabolizer gene.
The upshot? If you drink 2 quad espressos a day, that’s a problem. So back off a bit!