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Coffee and Tea Decrease The Risk of These Serious Diseases Over 50, Says New Study

Consumption of these popular beverages prove to have promising results.

Starting your morning with a cup of coffee or tea can benefit your health in more ways than one. While both coffee and tea are associated with lower risk of developing certain chronic diseases—and have even been linked to helping with weight management—a recent study has also connected the two drinks with a reduced risk of stroke or developing dementia.

The cohort study, published by PLOS Medicine, evaluated the consumption of coffee over 365,000 participants from the UK Biobank. Participants were between the ages of 50 and 74 and were evaluated between the years 2006 and 2010 up until 2020.

Within the study, researchers looked at the associations of coffee and tea consumption and how it related to stroke and dementia, while also taking into account other health factors like body mass index, physical activity, alcohol and smoking status, diet pattern, consumption of sugary beverages, cholesterol levels, and any history of disease such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and hypertension.

Each study participant was evaluated over a median of 11.4 years, and within that time frame, it was determined that 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, or 3 to 5 cups of tea a day (or a combination of both, between 4 to 6 cups), were linked to a lower risk of a stroke incident or dementia development. The risk was decreased by 32% for stroke, and a 28% lower risk for dementia. These numbers were compared to those who did not drink as much tea or coffee.

The study was also able to determine that consumption of tea and coffee can also have a positive effect on poststroke dementia (PSD). A diagnosis of dementia after a stroke is at about 30%, according to Lancet, and the risk of developing it can increase from 7% after one year of a stroke episode—and 48% after 25 years.

According to the study, participants saw a lower risk of a poststroke dementia diagnosis when daily consumption of coffee and tea was around 3 to 6 cups a day.

Although many factors can be at work within such a large study (especially one that is evaluated over a long period of time) some studies are able to back up the claim that coffee and tea consumption can help with reducing the risk of stroke. One study in the European Society of Cardiology was able to conclude that drinking three cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, and another study published by Preventive Nutrition and Food Science was able to link the consumption of green tea and a reduced risk of stroke for men over the age of 40.

So sip on that morning cup of java or enjoy that afternoon cup of tea—or both!—to lower your risk of stroke and dementia as you age.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten