New Study Says Coffee Leads to Dementia
You may have seen the recent headlines regarding coffee consumption and the risk of dementia. If you are a coffee lover like me, this probably got your attention. So, let's talk about the study and also some other data as well from many years of research on the most popular beverage in the world.
Researchers pulled from a database of 400,000 and looked at 17000 MRI scans. They concluded that high coffee intake of more than 6 cups per day led to a 53% higher dementia risk compared to 1-2 cups per day. No comparison was done to those who never drink coffee.
They also found a slightly higher risk of stroke.
So, should you cut back on your consumption? Stop drinking coffee? I think not. In fact, I am drinking a cup of my Cardiology Coffee as I type this article.
Problems with Studies
The above study was an epidemiological look at coffee drinkers. It is not the gold standard randomized trial where a group is randomized to coffee consumption and a group is randomized to no consumption. There is no trial in existence like this to assess the long term effects of coffee.
And when you do epidemiological studies, you can make assumptions, but conclusions are really difficult. The problem is the confounding variables. For example, are heavy coffee drinkers more likely to smoke cigarettes, eat more sugar, or sleep less? Do they work in high stress jobs or around environmental toxins? Do they exercise less? All these things would increase the risk of dementia.
A 2013 study showed female coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cognitive decline than non-drinkers. A 2020 meta-analysis (looking at many trials) published in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease also found dementia risk is lower in coffee drinkers.
The following picture comes from a 2020 article reviewing all the bioactive compounds in coffee and highlighting its neuroprotective effects.
Where Do We Go From Here?
So, you want to prevent dementia. So do I. My father died of a brain disease at the age of 63. Without our brains, what are we? Here is my plan.
- Go ahead and drink coffee. But make sure you drink the best. Drink coffee that is:
- Do NOT use any artificial sweeteners in your coffee. They are well known to cause cognitive issues.
- Eat high quality, organic foods with plenty of wild seafood and ethically-raised animal meat and eggs.
- Get quality sleep, sunshine, and physical activity.
- Avoid environmental toxins like mold, metals, pesticides and so much more.
Want to prevent dementia? Schedule a free call with one of our health coaches and get started on a plan for a better brain and a better life.
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