Coffee does a lot of things, according to the preponderance of studies that seem to come out every other day. It boosts your metabolism, increases your longevity, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, protects your liver, helps fend off depression, and so on. A new study, published in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, suggests that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of dementia in older women. Don’t start chugging that French press yet, though. The researchers only found that there is a “possible favorable relationship between caffeine consumption and cognitive impairment or dementia,” as the study puts it, which means that there’s more work to do to tie these findings up.
But the study is impressive, nonetheless, given that it took place over the course of 10 years, a good chunk of time. Led by Ira Driscoll, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a team of researchers looked at about 6,500 women who were 65 or older. The researchers found that women with a self-reported daily consumption of about 261 milligrams of caffeine were less likely to develop dementia than those who consumed around 64 milligrams a day. To put that level of caffeine in perspective, the study points out that an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, while 8 ounces of black tea contains 47 milligrams and a 12-ounce can of soda contains 33 milligrams. So, if you are an older woman who drinks about three cups of coffee a day, pat yourself on the back and know may be helping yourself out in the long-run.
The study took into account such factors as age, race, hormone therapy, body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption, among other things. It doesn’t appear that the researchers controlled for cream and sugar.