Many of us love a cup or two of coffee throughout the day, but a recent study claims that drinking too much of it might cause brain shrinkage and raise the risk of dementia in the long run.
This was also a big research, with 17,702 individuals ranging in age from 37 to 73 years old, drawn from the UK Biobank project. The long-running study gathers data on a variety of health and lifestyle variables, such as coffee intake, brain volume, and illness — as well as other data such as socioeconomic status, which scientists may consider.
Excess coffee dangers can skyrocket, however you’ll need to consume a lot of the beverage to do so: According to the study, those who drank six or more cups of coffee per day had a 53 percent higher risk of dementia than those who drank one or two cups per day.
According to epidemiologist Kitty Pham of the University of South Australia, “coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world.” “However, with annual worldwide consumption exceeding nine billion kilos, it’s important that we understand any possible health consequences.”
“This is the broadest study to examine volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding variables, as well as the most thorough look of the links between coffee, brain volume measures, dementia risks, and stroke risks.”
While we know that coffee has a number of effects on the brain, including keeping us awake, prior research on the link between brain volume and dementia has been equivocal and, in some cases, conflicting.
The researchers discovered a link between consuming more coffee and decreased overall brain volumes in individuals, as well as an increased risk of dementia, after controlling for factors such as sex, age, BMI, and long-term diseases.
This study did not investigate the consequences of brain shrinkage. While both grey and white matter have a role in controlling motor and sensory function, it’s difficult to correlate having less of either to specific behavioural or brain activity outcomes. As we become older, our brains shrink naturally, and some studies show that there may be a link between volume and dementia.
“We repeatedly discovered that greater coffee consumption was substantially related with lower brain volume, accounting for all potential permutations – essentially, consuming more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain disorders like dementia and stroke,” explains Pham.
What’s not obvious is why this happens: additional study into how caffeine and coffee interact with brain cells, and whether those interactions are good or harmful, has to be done.
It’s conceivable that the way caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the brain causes these changes, but they might also be produced indirectly by coffee’s effects on other body components (such as the cardiovascular system).
What we can conclude from this study is that drinking a lot of coffee appears to be associated with a substantially greater risk of dementia in a large sample group – a relationship strong enough to make you reassess how you get through the day.
According to epidemiologist Elina Hyppönen of the University of South Australia, “typical daily coffee intake is between one and two standard cups of coffee.” “Of course, while unit measurements vary, a couple of cups of coffee each day is usually plenty.”
“However, if you’re finding that you’re drinking more than six cups of coffee each day, it’s time to reconsider your next beverage.”