A new study from the University of South Australia has shown that consuming too much of it may harm us, especially when it comes to brain health.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that higher coffee consumption was linked to lower total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia.
The study was conducted at the University of South Africa’s Australian Center for Health and Medical Research at the South Australian Institute of Health and Medical Research and a team of international researchers.
The team evaluated the effects of coffee on the brain among 17,702 UK Biobank participants (aged 37 to 73), and found that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a 53 percent increased risk of dementia. According to Russia Today.
Kitty Pham, principal investigator at the University of South Africa, says the study provides important insights for public health.
She added: “Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world. However, with global consumption of more than nine billion kilograms annually, it is important to understand any potential health effects.”
“This is the most comprehensive investigation of the associations between coffee, measurements of brain volume, dementia risk, and stroke risk, and it is also the largest study to consider volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding factors.”
She explained: “When accounting for all possible permutations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with lower brain volume. Essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee per day may put you at risk for brain diseases such as dementia and stroke.”
Dementia is a degenerative condition of the brain that affects memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform daily tasks. About 50 million people are diagnosed with the syndrome worldwide.
A stroke is a condition in which the brain’s blood supply is disrupted, resulting in oxygen starvation, brain damage and loss of function. Globally, one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime.
Data suggests that 13.7 million people will have a stroke this year, with 5.5 million dying as a result.
While the news may be a bittersweet drink for coffee lovers, it’s all about finding a balance between what you drink and what’s good for your health, says lead researcher and director of the Australian Center for Micro Health at the University of South Africa, Professor Elina Hypponen.
Professor Hypponen said: “This research provides vital insights into heavy coffee consumption and brain health, but as with many things in life, moderation is key.
She continued, “Combined with other genetic evidence and a randomized controlled trial, these data strongly suggest that high coffee consumption can negatively impact brain health. While the exact mechanisms are unknown, one of the simple things we can do is to maintain Stay hydrated and remember to drink a little water next to that cup of coffee.”
She pointed out that the moderate daily consumption of coffee ranges between one or two standard cups. Of course, while unit measures can vary, two cups of coffee a day is generally fine.
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