Is coffee good for the body ? While some journals recommend drinking four cups a day to live longer, others denounce its harmful effects on concentration and the brain. New research from the University of South Australia shows that it’s all about balance in the consumption of this drink, especially when it comes to brain health. In the largest study of its kind on this subject published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience researchers have found that consuming too much coffee, beyond six cups a day, is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia.
The study consisted of evaluating the effects of coffee on the brain in 17,702 British Biobank participants (aged 37 to 73) and highlights the fact that people who drank more than six cups of coffee per day had a 53% increased risk of dementia compared to one consumption of 1 to 2 cups/day. The study’s principal investigator, Prof Kitty Pham, says this research provides important information in terms of public health. “Coffee is one of the most popular drinks. Yet, with global consumption exceeding nine billion kilograms per year, it is essential that we understand all of the potential health implications. ”
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She adds: “This is the most in-depth investigation into the links between coffee, brain volume measurements, the risks of dementia and the risks of stroke. It is also the largest study to consider volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding factors. By evoking the brain volume, the researchers were interested in all its components: the gray matter, the white matter, and the hippocampal volume. Taking into account all possible permutations, scientists have consistently found that a higher coffee consumption was associated with a reduction in brain volume.
The scientific team says that while the news may be bitter for serious coffee lovers, it is about finding a balance between what you drink and what is good for your health. “This research provides vital information on the excessive coffee consumption and brain health, but like so much in life, moderation is key. Along with other genetic evidence and a controlled trial, this data strongly suggests that high coffee consumption may be harmful to brain health. While the exact mechanics are not known, one simple thing we can do is remember to drink a little water next to it of that coffee mug. », She concludes.