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It's time to up that coffee order every morning! A recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology discovered that a higher-than-average daily caffeine consumption led to test subjects who were "less likely to develop incident dementia or any cognitive impairment" compared to those who consumed less-than-average amounts of the stimulant.
In a long-term study of 6,467 women over the age of 65, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that 388 of these test subjects developed "probable dementia" over the course of 10 years. But adjusted for other risk factors—including hormone therapy, age, race, BMI, smoking, and alcohol consumption—the women in the study who consumed an average of 261mg of caffeine (the amount in a tall cup of Pike Place Roast at Starbucks) daily had a "36 percent reduction in the risk of incident dementia over 10 years of follow-up."
"The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor with very few contraindications," lead author Ira Driscoll, PhD, said in a statement.
"While we can't make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study, we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive health outcomes," Driscoll said. This information also lends itself to better understanding the underlying causes of dementia.