- Researchers say people who drink moderate amounts of coffee and tea per day have a lower risk of stroke and dementia.
- Experts say this is one of the many benefits of consuming coffee or tea every day.
- They say these drinks contain flavonoids and other ingredients that can improve health.
- However, they warn that too much coffee or tea can disrupt sleep patterns due to caffeine levels and cause other health problems.
There is encouraging news from China this week for coffee and tea lovers.
Researchers say that consuming one or both of these drinks can lower your risk of stroke and dementia.
A study published today by researchers at Tianjin Medical University indicates that healthy individuals between the ages of 50 and 74 drank two to three cups of coffee or three to five cups of tea per day – or one combination of four to six cups of the two per day – had the lowest incidence of stroke and dementia among the 365,682 study participants.
The researchers looked at people from UK Biobank who were recruited between 2006 and 2010 and followed through 2020. The subjects self-reported their coffee and tea consumption.
Those who drank the largest amounts of coffee or tea had a 32% lower risk of stroke and a 28% lower risk of dementia, compared to those who drank neither.
The study also found that drinking coffee alone or in combination with tea was associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia.
The health benefits of coffee and tea go beyond the obvious connection to caffeine, medical professionals told Healthline.
“While caffeine is certainly a key common denominator, both coffee and tea are derived from plants containing many potentially beneficial chemicals, including powerful antioxidants,” said Dr. Scott Kaiser, director of Geriatric Cognitive Health for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“A large and growing body of research demonstrates the brain health benefits of certain foods, especially those rich in antioxidants and other ‘neuroprotective’ compounds,” Kaiser told Healthline. “For example, in several studies, higher levels of flavonoid intake have been associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
“These phytonutrients – chemicals that plants produce to stay healthy – can actually reduce inflammation in our brains, protect brain cells from injury, support learning and memory, and provide other obvious benefits. for brain health, ”he explained. “And when it comes to good sources of flavonoids, coffee and tea are on the list.”
The study authors claim that the UK Biobank reflects a healthier sample of people, compared to the general population, which may limit the ability to generalize associations between coffee and tea and their possible benefits.
In addition, relatively few people in the sample suffered from dementia or stroke, which they believed could make it difficult to accurately extrapolate rates to larger populations.
However, “our results suggest that moderate consumption of coffee and tea, separately or in combination, was associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia,” they wrote.
Michelle Rauch, a registered dietitian for the Actor’s Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, told Healthline that coffee has been linked with other health benefits, such as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type diabetes. 2, Parkinson’s disease, certain cancers and cirrhosis.
However, there is also a downside.
“There are downsides to drinking coffee and tea… when done excessively,” Rauch said. “Tea and coffee contain compounds called tannins, which can interfere with the absorption of iron if taken in excess. These tannins can also stain teeth when they build up on the enamel.
And caffeine and what people add to coffee and tea can be problematic, Rauch said.
“Like coffee, the caffeine in tea can also cause a problem if consumed in excess, resulting in restlessness, tremors, rapid heart rate, insomnia and anxiety,” Rauch said. . “The catechins in tea can interfere with certain heart and blood pressure medications. The health benefits of tea and coffee can be negated if sugar, honey, cream, and other high calorie or fat ingredients are added.
Experts say the study confirms what appears to be the optimal amount of coffee and tea intake per day.
“Like everything in life, it’s about balance,” Nancy Belcher, co-founder and CEO of Winona Anti-Aging Wellness Center, told Healthline. “Drinking three to five cups a day is ideal for providing health benefits without the negative side effects”
Kaiser said “the jury is still out” on this matter.
“That said, this study suggests that moderate consumption of coffee and tea, separately or in combination, may reduce the risk of stroke and dementia,” he said.
“Your best bet, as always, is to consult with your doctor, nutritionist, or other health care professional to weigh all the risks and benefits and determine what is best for you,” Kaiser added.
“Most importantly, this study reinforces the idea that it’s never too early to start thinking about our brain health. It’s encouraging to think that drinking coffee and tea – something that many of us enjoy – can help lower our risk of developing stroke or dementia, ”he said.