STUDY: Too Much Coffee Shrinks Brain; Raises Dementia Risk

ADELAIDE, Australia — That morning cup of joe may be just what you need to help jumpstart your workday and sharpen your mind. But if you find yourself repeatedly heading over to the coffee pot for refills, you may be actually putting your brain health at risk. Too much coffee can increase the risk of dementia, warns a new study.

Drinking six or more cups a day was linked with a 53 percent increased risk of dementia and make stroke more likely, too. Brain imaging reveals that drinking a lot of coffee was also associated with brain shrinkage, say scientists.

The study, conducted at the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, is the largest of its kind based on 17,702 participants aged 30 to 37. Kitty Pham, a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia, who led the team of international researchers, says the findings draw attention to the risk of over-consuming.

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“Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world. Yet with global consumption being more than nine billion kilograms a year, it’s critical that we understand any potential health implications,” she explains in a statement. “This is the most extensive investigation into the connections between coffee, brain volume measurements, the risks of dementia, and the risks of stroke – it’s also the largest study to consider volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding factors.


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