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Tea and coffee consumption linked with lower stroke and dementia risks

Moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination is associated with lower risk of stroke and dementia.

Cup of coffee in a cafe. Image by Tim Sandle
Cup of coffee in a cafe. Image by Tim Sandle

The consumption of coffee and tea drinking could be associated with a reduced rate of stroke and dementia, according to a new review. The optimal consumption is with an intake of 4-6 total cups of one of the beverages each day. The findings come from Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.

Drinking coffee or tea has an association with a lower risk of stroke and dementia. However, the two popular beverages confer slightly different positive correlations when it comes to lowering the risk of post-stroke dementia (post-stroke dementia is a condition where symptoms of dementia occur after a stroke). Here coffee was found to be associated whereas tea was not.

The data reviewed related to people aged 50-74 who were medically assessed as ‘healthy’ at the time of the start of the study. The data was drawn from the UK Biobank and it assessed data from 365,682 people who had agreed to have their medical records accessible. Individuals were studied between 2010 and 2020. With each study participant, the coffee and tea intake were self-assessed.

Of the 365,000 people. 5,079 participants developed dementia and 10,053 experienced at least one stroke, across the ten year study period.

When the data was further analysed, this revealed that people who drank 2-3 cups of coffee or 3-5 cups of tea per day, or a combination of 4-6 cups of coffee and tea, had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia.

Those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee and 2-3 cups of tea daily had a 32 percent lower risk of stroke and a 28 percent lower risk of dementia when compared with those who drank neither coffee nor tea.

Therefore, the data suggests that moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination is connected lower risk of stroke and dementia.

Commenting on the results, Dr Rosa Sancho, the head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, told The Guardian: “For most of us, our risk of dementia depends on the complex interaction of our age, genetics and lifestyle. Understanding which aspects of our lifestyle have the greatest effect on our brain health is key to empowering people to make informed decisions about their lives.”

The research findings appear in the journal PLOS Medicine, with the peer-reviewed study titled “Consumption of coffee and tea and risk of developing stroke, dementia, and poststroke dementia: A cohort study in the UK Biobank”.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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