The benefits and advantages of consuming coffee are enormous. However, six cups of coffee a day can put the brain at risk. That is according to scientists who conducted a major study on brain health and consumption of the world’s most widely consumed hot beverage.
Caffeine and its many benefits are often the subjects of research. Coffee protects against certain diseases, protects the liver, and significantly reduces the risk of diabetes. However, excessive consumption can lead to a paradox, as six or more cups a day can damage brain health. This has been demonstrated by an international team of researchers led by the Australian Center for Precision Health in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
High risk of dementia with coffee abuse
“Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. However, with more than nine billion kilograms consumed globally each year, it is important to understand the potential health effects,” says researcher and study author Kitty Pham. This is the largest study on caffeine consumption and its effects on the brain. For the study, the Kitty Pharm team examined the effects of coffee on the brains of 17,702 volunteers (aged 37 to 73). Among participants who drank six or more cups per day, the risk of dementia was significantly higher – about 53%. However, no association was found between increased stroke risk and heavy coffee consumption. “Taking into account all possible variations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with lower brain volume. In fact, consuming more than six cups of coffee per day may increase the risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke,” says Dr. Pham.
One or two cups sufficient
“Together with other genetic evidence and a randomized controlled trial, these results strongly suggest that high coffee consumption can damage brain health. Although the exact mechanisms are not yet known, we can easily do something about it by drinking plenty of fluids and remembering to drink some water with our cup of coffee,” says Professor Elina Hyppönen, director of the Australian Centre for Precision Health. “However, if you find you’re drinking more than six cups of coffee a day, it’s time to rethink your next drink,” she adds.
In another study, researchers found when it’s best to drink one or two cups of coffee a day. One habit you should break is drinking right after you wake up or after dinner. Why is this? It’s because of cortisol levels, the “stress hormone” that gives our body the energy it needs. After a night of sleep, cortisol levels are very high, so you do not need caffeine. Therefore, it is recommended to drink coffee between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM and between 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM.
When do you usually take your coffee and how often? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments area below!
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