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Coffee, Tea Reduce Risk of Stroke, Dementia

Drinking coffee or tea may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia, according to a study of healthy individuals published in PLOS Medicine.

A study of healthy people published in PLOS Medicine suggests that drinking coffee or tea may reduce the risk of stroke and dementia.

According to the findings of a study that looked at healthy people between the ages of 50 and 74 and was published on November 16th in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine, drinking coffee or tea may be connected with a decreased risk of stroke and dementia. The study also found that coffee consumption was linked with a decreased incidence of dementia that developed after a stroke (Zhang et al., 2021).

Strokes are incidents that pose a significant risk to one’s life and are responsible for 10 percent of all fatalities worldwide. Dementia is a generic term that refers to symptoms that are associated with a deterioration in brain function. It is a global health problem that imposes a significant cost both economically and socially. After having a stroke, a person may develop a disease known as post-stroke dementia, in which they experience symptoms of dementia.

Coffee and tea may help mental wellness. Both beverages refresh and may lower dementia risk, according to studies.

Coffee appears to be particularly protective. Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, according to research. A meta-analysis involving 29,155 participants from eleven prospective studies, have shown that higher dietary coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk for Alzheimer disease (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55–0.97) (Liu et al., 2016).

Caffeine in coffee boosts alertness, cognition, and Alzheimer’s plaque prevention. Coffee contains antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin B.

coffee tea reduce risk
Moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination were associated with lower risk of stroke and dementia. Photo: Mart Production

Tea, prepared from the leaves of plant Camellia sinensis, also contains caffeine and antioxidants.  reduces dementia risk. A population based longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese elderly found reduced risk of neurocognitive disorders for both green tea (OR=0.43) and black/oolong tea (OR=0.53)(Feng et al., 2016).

Green tea is brain-healthy. Catechin, an antioxidant, may prevent cognitive deterioration. Tea helps relieve stress and soothe anxiety and sadness, which can lead to dementia.

The PLoS Med study looked into the links between coffee, tea, and the risk of stroke and dementia, both separately and in combination.

In the study, Yuan Zhang and his colleagues from Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China, conducted research on 365,682 individuals from the UK Biobank data and were recruited between the years of 2006 and 2010. They monitored these individuals until the year 2020. The participants first provided their own self-reported data on their use of coffee and tea. During the course of the research, 5,079 of the participants were diagnosed with dementia, and 10,053 had at least one stroke.

People who consumed either two to three cups of coffee or three to five cups of tea per day or a mix of four to six cups of coffee and tea had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia. People who drank neither coffee nor tea had a 32% increased risk of stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.79; P 0.001) and a 28% increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio [HR], 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.89; P =0.002) in comparison to those who drank both coffee and tea on a daily basis. Consumption of coffee, either on its own or in conjunction with tea, was likewise connected with a reduced incidence of dementia following a stroke.

Because the UK Biobank represents a group that is, in comparison to the general population, in a relatively good state of health, it may be difficult to generalize the results of these correlations. In addition, there were a very small number of persons who got dementia or had a stroke, which can make it challenging to appropriately extrapolate rates to broader groups.

Last but not least, although it is conceivable that drinking coffee and tea might offer some degree of protection against stroke, dementia, and post-stroke dementia, the relationships cannot be used to infer any sort of causative relationship between the three conditions.

The authors continue by saying, “Our data revealed that moderate use of coffee and tea, either independently or in combination, were related with a decreased risk of stroke and dementia.”

Related Publication and Further Readings

Feng, L., M. S. Chong, et al. (2016). “Tea Consumption Reduces the Incidence of Neurocognitive Disorders: Findings from the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Study.” J Nutr Health Aging 20(10): 1002-1009.

Liu, Q. P., Y. F. Wu, et al. (2016). “Habitual coffee consumption and risk of cognitive decline/dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Nutrition 32(6): 628-636.

Zhang, Y., H. Yang, et al. (2021). “Consumption of coffee and tea and risk of developing stroke, dementia, and poststroke dementia: A cohort study in the UK Biobank.” PLoS Med 18(11): e1003830.

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