Coffee, in the right quantities, is proven to be good, especially for the brain. In addition to giving us a lift whenever needed, it can help us live longer, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of diabetes.
An exploratory population-based study conducted in Hamburg, Germany, recently studied the brains of more than 2,000 people between the ages of 45 and 74. She compared four groups of people who reported drinking regularly – less than 1 cup of coffee a day, 1-2 cups a day, 3-4 cups a day, 5-6 cups of coffee a day. The study found that those who regularly drank three to four cups of coffee a day had the strongest brain structure when looking at several factors including preserved cortical thickness, which is generally associated with higher intelligence. The improvement was seen to increase from those who did not drink coffee to those who drank more.
However, the study design was not perfect. The authors noted that the study was conducted on a relatively small and homogeneous group. They also noted that those who drank more coffee were healthier and more educated at baseline, so these potential confounding factors cannot be ruled out. They also wrote that more research is needed to determine whether decaffeinated coffee has similar effects. Nevertheless, these initial findings add to the growing body of evidence supporting the idea that coffee is good for the brain and overall health.
Coffee has been shown to slow cognitive decline and potentially reduce the risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, a 2017 meta-analysis of the health effects of coffee found that coffee reduces the incidence of cardiovascular and other diseases, as well as neurological, metabolic and liver conditions. Although not all of these studies looked at the exact number of cups, some of them suggest a threshold of three to four cups for optimal benefit.
This new research suggests that the habit of drinking your favorite beverage improves brain structure, and three or four cups could have an even greater effect. It is advised not to consume caffeine if you experience nervousness, anxiety or heart palpitations. Other ways to support brain health on a daily basis include prioritizing sleep, being active and learning new things.
New research conducted in Germany investigates how different levels of coffee intake affect brain structure. Initial results suggest that three to four cups a day may be the magic number for preserving critical brain structures, helping to improve cognitive abilities and overall brain function, reports MBG.